The USS Carney, salty and battle-tested, is back in the United States

by Vern Evans

After an historic seven-month deployment that saw it endure some of the most sustained and dangerous engagements in recent Navy history, the destroyer Carney has returned to the states.

Carney arrived in Norfolk, Virginia, on Friday, en route to its home port of Naval Station Mayport, Florida, according to a Navy release.

The ship and its salty sailors were welcomed back to the East Coast by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti on Friday.

All told, Carney conducted 51 engagements over six months, Franchetti said in a statement.

Most of the battles involved Iran-backed Houthi rebels firing missiles and drones from Yemen at commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

But the warship also took part in staunching Iran’s unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel last month, and on Oct. 19, it took down a massive Houthi barrage that the Pentagon says was headed for Israel, just a day after entering the Middle Eastern waters of U.S. 5th Fleet.

That incident sparked the unprecedented Navy vs. Houthi battles that have become near-daily occurrences in recent months, even as the pace of Houthi attacks has slowed in recent weeks.

The men and women of the Carney were “called to action” from the moment they entered 5th Fleet last fall, Franchetti said.

“You saved lives, ensured the free flow of commerce, and stood up for the rules-based international order and all the value that we hold dear,” she said, according to a Navy release. “It’s been eye-watering to watch.”

Carney left Mayport on Sept. 27. It initially operated with the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group before falling under the auspices of Ford’s replacement, the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower.

During her visit to the ship Friday, Franchetti recognized 14 sailors for their achievements during the deployment.

“It is absolutely wonderful to be onboard today and have the opportunity to welcome you back and give you a great big Bravo Zulu for a job incredibly well done,” she said.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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