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The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Sampson (DDG 102), returned home to Naval Station Everett August 11 after completing a seven-month deployment. The ship departed Everett in route to U.S. 7th Fleet on Dec. 30.
Sampson supported maritime security and regional stability in the Indo-Pacific, conducting independent operations in and around the South China Sea. The ship provided humanitarian aid to Tonga following tsunami damage to the island. They also helped to recover and salvage the downed F-35C Lightning II from Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
Sampson participated in multiple exercises that increased combined operational capabilities such as ship anti-submarine warfare readiness and effective measuring (SHAREM), Maritime Partnership Exercise 2022, Maritime Counter Special Operations Forces Exercise (MCSOFEX), several East China Sea patrols, a Taiwan Strait Transit, and Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.
"No matter the mission set on deployment, Sampson sailors epitomized America's fighting spirit, toughness, endurance, and tenacious resolve to never give up and never give in", said Cmdr. Mike Bencini, commanding officer of USS Sampson. "Deployment provided readiness-strengthening opportunities for Sampson and our multiple partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region. My crew seized the opportunity to conduct missions smartly and they thrived operating alongside one another. I am humbled and inspired by them daily. All of the friends and families supporting them should be very proud of their service."
Throughout the deployment, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 completed hundreds of hours of flight operations from the Sampson’s hangar bay.
On May 1, Sampson conducted a change of command ceremony in Busan, South Korea, transferring command from Cmdr. Adam Soukup to Cmdr. Mike Bencini. While in port, Sampson sailors participated in a community relations project at Jinhae Hope Home to help South Korean residents remove brush and weeds from an orphanage in Busan.