President Trump calls commanders of Navy ships that executed missile strikes

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump made phone calls Sunday to the commanders of the two U.S. Navy ships that executed the April 6 missile strikes on the Shayrat Air Base in Syria.

According to a statement from the White House, President Trump thanked Cmdr. Andria Slough of the USS Porter and Cmdr. Russell Caldwell of the USS Ross and thanked their crews for  their speed, precision and effectiveness in carrying out the operation.

The strike was conducted from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea using 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The air base was home to the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks in Syria that killed dozens of civilians earlier in the week.

The USS Porter and USS Ross are both homeported in Rota, Spain. The USS Ross left Spain on April 3 for a patrol in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

“The success of this mission hinged upon our sailors’ excellent training, technical knowledge, and dedication to their work,” Caldwell, the former commander of the USS Ross, said in a U.S. European Command news release. “It was a distinct honor to hear firsthand from our commander in chief that these operations had a direct impact in support of his national objectives.”

Cmdr. Caldwell was relieved as CO of the USS Ross during a change-of-command ceremony on April 11.

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MEDITERRANEAN SEA (April 9, 2017) Cmdr. Russell Caldwell, commanding officer of USS Ross (DDG 71), receives a call from President Donald J. Trump April 9, 2017 as the ship transits the Mediterranean Sea. USS Ross, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations 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 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)

The USS Porter has been on routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations since the end of November. They returned to Naval Station Rota after the strikes to complete their five-month deployment.

“In general, the president said he was impressed with Porter’s precision and lethality,” Slough said. “It was obvious he was extremely pleased with our performance, and is glad we’re out here patrolling in U.S. 6th Fleet.”

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MEDITERRANEAN SEA (April 9, 2017) Cmdr. Andria L. Slough, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78), receives a telephone call from President Donald J. Trump, April 9, 2017. Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)

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