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LYMOUTH, England. Cmdr. Craig Trent, left, commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78), observes from the bridge as the ship departs Plymouth, England, Feb. 11, 2019. Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Turner)

PLYMOUTH, England . Damage Controlman 2nd Class Stephanie Buttrick, right uses a toxic-gas detector with Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Ethan Silva aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) during a drill in Plymouth, England, Feb. 9, 2019. Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Turner)

PLYMOUTH, England. Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Giancarlo Richardson, left, and Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Juan Reyesmunoz use M9 detection paper during a chemical, biological and radiological drill aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) in Plymouth, England, Feb. 8, 2019. Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Turner)

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Turner, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Europe

PLYMOUTH, England (NNS) — The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) departed Feb. 11 Plymouth, England following a port visit.

The port visit serves to demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s continued commitment to strengthening strategic partnerships in the European and African region.

“This was a working port for the Sailors aboard Porter,” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of Porter. “Our English allies gave our ship and crew the ability to shelter in place as storms passed in order to continue to train and maintain mission readiness.”

While in port, the ship earned certifications from three embarked Sailors from Afloat Training Group Norfolk. Overall, the ship conducted 15 damage control drills ensuring the ship’s responses are efficient to a wide range of scenarios.

“The crew has been extremely busy while in England,” said Lt. Andrea Olachia, damage control assistant aboard the ship. “We conducted drills nearly every day while in port, from individual locker drills to flying squad, and topped it off with three general quarters drills. We demonstrated our crew’s ability to combat a variety of casualties that the ship could encounter. Damage control training is invaluable and it’s important for all Sailors to possess the skill sets necessary to put out a fire, stop a flood or even operate after a chemical, biological, radiological attack. We all hope that we never have to do more than drill for these types of scenarios, but if the time ever comes, I am confident the crew will be prepared to fight and ultimately save our ship.”

Porter is working with allies and regional partners to help develop and improve maritime forces, maintain regional security, and work toward mutual goals in order to advance security and stability in Europe.

Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. The ship departed from Naval Station Rota, Spain, Dec. 27, 2018.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests, and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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