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U.S. Secretary of the Navy visits Mayport as USS Carney returns
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U.S. Secretary of the Navy visits Mayport as USS Carney returns

  • PublishedMay 19, 2024

The ship was involved in 51 engagements, successfully destroying Houthi-launched weapons and an Iranian-launched missile.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The USS Carney, a U.S. naval ship that has been deployed in combat overseas fighting Iran-back targets and taking part in some key international missions, returned home to Mayport Sunday morning.

The Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer was deployed for eight months to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe – Africa and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command areas of operations.

At the Naval Station Mayport, a crowd nearly 500-strong welcomed the ship as it came into port. 

“We are super excited we’re super happy, beyond proud of him for everything that him and everyone on that ship, they’ve had such an incredible deployment,” Anthony Rios Sr., who welcomed his son home, said.

According to officials, the ship was involved in 51 engagements, successfully destroying Houthi-launched weapons, including land missiles and anti-ship missiles, and defending commercial vessels connected to 14 separate nations. 

It was Anthony Rios’ first deployment.

“I’m just so thankful and grateful that I’ve got to spend the past seven, eight months with these guys, just doing our job out there. That’s all it was,” Anthony Rios said.

The Secretary of the Navy was in Mayport to welcome the ship home and said the USS Carney performed missions that were essential to international security.

“We remain committed to preserving freedom of navigation in international waters around the globe. The ongoing conflict in the Red Sea is unprecedented. Our response in defense of international maritime shipping lanes is anything but commonplace. And I want all Americans across this great nation to understand the tremendous sacrifice, the courageous sacrifice that these men and women make on the ships protecting our liberties around the world,” Carlos Del Toro, the 78th U.S. Secretary of the Navy, said.

Upon it’s return, the Secretary of the Navy presented the USS Carney with the Navy Unit Commendation for Outstanding Performance and action against terrorist forces.

“Through their bold courageous actions, the Carney team promoted regional stability. They protected vital global commerce, defended key allies and partners to turn aggression and forge partnerships founded on trust and unity of effort against violations of international law,” Del Toro said.

The USS Carney conducted two defensive strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, destroying 20 targets, and one Iranian-launched missile.

Secretary Del Toro said the engagements the USS Carney was involved in are something the Navy has not seen since World War II. 

“Only 23 or 24 days into deployment is when things started happening. So we were in, in the mix for quite a while,” Carney’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Jeremy Robertson, said.

In January, the ship’s crew was awarded a combat action ribbon for their work and several sailors, including the ship’s commanding officer, received medals.

“99.9% of the time, it never happens. And so this was the point one, where you had to be ready, you had to be in the moment, you had to follow your training. And we’ve got some really good team members on the Carney who did a great job. Couldn’t be more proud of the team, it’s super exciting to be home,” Cmdr. Robertson, said.

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