The guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin departed Norfolk Naval Station on Tuesday, to participate in Baltic Operations 2014 and the events commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
“It is an honor to command USS Oscar Austin as we set sail to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to enhance maritime security and conduct exercises with our allies in the spirit of Partnership for Peace,” said Cmdr. Brian J. Diebold, the ship’s commanding officer. “My crew is trained, motivated, and ready to execute all missions to enhance regional interoperability with our partner nations.”
Oscar Austin is scheduled to participate in a bilateral exercise with the Royal Norwegian Navy before joining the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) for exercise Baltic Operations 2014 (BALTOPS 14).
BALTOPS 14 is a joint and combined maritime exercise conducted in the spirit of Partnership for Peace (PfP) in order to promote mutual understanding, confidence, cooperation and interoperability among participating nations in the Baltic region.
“This is an outstanding opportunity that our ship would not normally get to take part in, but we are all excited,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Caitlin Bastein. “I think it will be a great learning experience and give sailors perspective on other navies and countries, and it is truly an honor to have been selected to represent the U.S. overseas.”