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News Around the Fleet

News | Aug. 11, 2022

USS Sampson Returns to Homeport

By Commander, U.S. Third Fleet Public Affairs

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) returned to Naval Station Everett, Aug. 11, following a seven-month deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleets.

Sampson departed Everett in route to U.S. 7th Fleet Dec. 30, 2021 to support maritime security and enhance regional stability in the Indo-Pacific. Sampson conducted independent operations in and around the South China Sea, provided humanitarian aid to Tonga following tsunami damage to the island, and assisted in the recovery and salvage of the downed F-35C Lightning II from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

Sampson continuously worked to increase combined operation capabilities through multiple combined exercises including ship anti-submarine warfare readiness and effective measuring (SHAREM), Maritime Partnership Exercise 2022, Maritime Counter Special Operations Forces Exercise (MCSOFEX), several East China Sea patrols, a Taiwan Strait Transit and exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.

"No matter the mission set on deployment, Sampson Sailors epitomized America's fighting spirit, toughness, endurance and tenacious resolve to never give up and never give in", said Cmdr. Mike Bencini, Sampson commanding officer. "Deployment provided readiness-strengthening opportunities for Sampson and our multiple partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region. My crew seized the opportunity to conduct missions smartly and they thrived operating alongside one another. I am humbled and inspired by them daily. All of the friends and families supporting them should be very proud of their service."

Sampson’s hangar bays housed Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49. Over the course of the deployment, HSM-49 safely completed hundreds of hours of flight operations, in addition to executing joint helicopter operations with four coalition partners.

On May 1, Sampson conducted a change of command ceremony in Busan, South Korea, transferring command from Cmdr. Adam Soukup to Cmdr. Mike Bencini. While in port, Sampson Sailors showed their dedication to the community through the performance of a community relations project at Jinhae Hope Home. The project brought Sailors and South Korean residents together to remove brush and weeds from an orphanage that serves the population of Busan.

Sampson played a fundamental role in RIMPAC serving as both the air defense commander to Task Force 170 and the surface action group commander. Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, three submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
Sampson returns home after conducting 19 replenishments-at-sea, two vertical replenishments and traveling over 40,000 nautical miles.

An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations—from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region.

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