|Sailor returns home from war
|Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2012 11:05 am
Local friends and family welcomed home DC3 Ronald “Chuck” C. Hammer III of Martin Monday from his second deployment. Hammer returned home to Martin after five years of service with the United States Navy.
DC3 Ronald “Chuck” Hammer III
Hammer joined nearly 7,000 sailors who pulled into Pearl Harbor Feb. 17 for leave with the John C. Stennis aircraft carrier strike group, following a more than six-month deployment to the Middle East and Western Pacific.
The Stennis and its air wing, cruiser Mobile Bay and destroyers, Pinckney, Kidd, Dewey and Wayne E. Meyer, stopped in Hawaii en route to their home ports on the West Coast according to a Navy spokesperson.
The 1,092-feet-long Stennis left Bremerton, Wash., July 25, 2011, for a deployment that saw it launch fighter sorties in support of ground troops on Afghanistan. It also operated in the Persian Gulf.
The carrier’s air wing flew the Navy’s final air mission over Iraq Dec. 18, 2011, effectively ending naval support for Operation New Dawn.
From there, the Stennis transited the Strait of Hormuz, with Iran issuing a warning “not to return to the Persian Gulf.”
“Flying the last Navy air mission in Iraq was a historic achievement for all of us,” Capt. Dale Horan, commander of Carrier Air Wing 9 on Stennis, was quoted in a Navy news story as saying.
“Everyone in this strike group played a part in making that happen and it’s a part of history we will always share,” Horan said.
In January, after transitioning to supporting operations in Afghanistan, the Stennis strike group thwarted an attempted pirate attack on a Bahamian-flagged cargo vessel, and then freed a group of Iranian mariners held captive by the same crew of suspected pirates, the Navy said.
The air wing flew 13,389 sorties in support of Afghanistan and Iraq missions, according to the Navy.