JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
At approximately 10 a.m., March 11, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99), made port in downtown Charleston.
The destroyer, based out of Naval Station Mayport, Fl., became the first U.S. Navy destroyer to be welcomed by Joint Base Charleston's port operations. The ship visited Charleston so the crew could interact with the local community as well as provide support for the Citadel's Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps training.
"It is always a pleasure seeing one of our fleet ships break away from being out to sea and visiting us here at Charleston," said Navy Cmdr. Charles Phillip, Joint Base Charleston Mission Support Group deputy commander. "This visit shows that what we do here at Team Charleston is critical to worldwide operations. We are and still remain an integral part of the Navy, providing the means, capability and functions to support the Navy's mission and daily operations."
In order to support Farragut's visit, JB CHS waterfront operations JB CHS - WS coordinated with the U.S. Navy Second Fleet and the Charleston Port Authority as well as local law enforcement to ensure harbor security was provided, said Commander Phillip.
While moored in Charleston, the ship provided a training platform for Citadel midshipmen, where they were able to see first hand what life would be like in the 'real' Navy.
"Farragut's visit to Charleston was wonderful and the purpose was threefold," said Cmdr. William Daly, USS Farragut's commanding officer.
"We supported a Navy training weekend at the Citadel where midshipmen and officer candidates spent a weekend training onboard," he said. "In addition, the Navy takes very seriously the opportunity to positively engage with a strong community like Charleston and to say 'Thank You' for supporting a great ship like Farragut. Finally, the visit to the Lowcountry was a fantastic reward for the crew for a successful 2010 deployment and a superb performance on an intensive inspection in January."
USS Farragut is named in honor of Navy Adm. David Farragut, who is well-known for his quote "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" in 1864 during the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. The ship was commissioned June 10, 2006, and its mission is to be prepared to conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea in support of national policy. The ship is designed to operate independently or as part of surface, expeditionary or aircraft carrier strike groups in extreme air, surface and undersea threat environments, according to the U.S. Navy website.
In order to help the Sailors enjoy their time here in Charleston, JB CHS's Morale Welfare and Recreation provided the ship's crew with information on entertainment opportunities and attractions the city has to offer, Commander Phillip said.
Sailors from the ship who were not participating in the Citadel training performed a number of volunteer services in the area including visiting a local school and the Charleston YMCA, educating the community on all things Navy.
"The crew had a blast showcasing Farragut to a community like Charleston, which is so supportive and appreciative of the Navy," Commander Daly said. "We also enjoyed exploring downtown Charleston on a beautiful March weekend. We are very thankful for the wonderful hosts in the people of the Lowcountry."