Guided-Missile Destroyer O’Kane Returns to San Diego

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
February 7, 2022 Updated: February 7, 2022

SAN DIEGO—The guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane returned home Feb. 6 to Naval Base San Diego, completing an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation.

O’Kane deployed in June 2021, serving as the ballistic missile defense commander for Carrier Strike Group 1.

“The sailors aboard USS O’Kane lead the way in demonstrating resiliency and dedication to support the mission and each other,” said Cmdr. Michelle Fontenot, O’Kane’s commanding officer. “As an independent deployer serving in both the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets, O’Kane met each mission with success.”

O’Kane escorted multiple units through 30 straits, including the Strait of Hormuz, Bab el-Mandeb, and the Suez Canal, Navy officials said. O’Kane participated in maritime security operations in support of the International Maritime Security Coalition, collaborating with seven partner nations for security and the free flow of commerce.

O’Kane also participated in Indigo Defender, a bilateral maritime exercise between Royal Saudi Naval Forces and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

The ship conducted maritime interdiction operations; board, search, and seizure operations; and operated alongside international navies, including the Egyptian Naval Force, Royal Saudi Navy, and the Indian Navy.

As the on-scene commander, O’Kane escorted two mine countermeasures ships through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, marking the first time in seven years a mine countermeasures ship operating from Bahrain transited to the Red Sea and back.

O’Kane also participated in a seizure of illicit cargo from a stateless fishing vessel in the North Arabian Sea on Dec. 20. The O’Kane crew seized 1,400 AK-47s and 226,000 rounds of ammunition, the Navy said.