Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The USS Stout completed a nearly seven-month deployment in the U.S. Fifth Fleet Area of Operations Saturday, surpassing the Navy's record for days consecutively at sea.
The guided-missile destroyer, which remained in theater after the rest of the strike group returned home earlier this summer, broke records previously held by USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS San Jacinto.
"USS Stout has been instrumental in maintaining freedom of navigation in the region. Its regular presence has helped to deter potential threats and provide reassurance to the global merchant community," said Cdre. Rob Bellfield, commander of CTF Sentinel. "I wish to thank the crew for their efforts and wish them all the best during the rest of their deployment."
The Stout spent 139 days in direct or associated support of the task force to ensure the flow of commerce, providing overwatch for more than 550 vessels as they traveled critical chokepoints.
It supported both the Ike and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups, taking park in maritime security operations like patrolling the Bab el Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz and escorting U.S. Army logistics support vessels.
"We are extremely proud of Stout's accomplishments in theater as they've been operating to ensure freedom of navigation," said Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces. "Under the challenges of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of regional tensions, Stout embodied their motto and prevailed with 'Courage, Valor and Integrity.'"