The USS Halsey, a Pearl Harbor-based missile destroyer, returned home Monday after a five-month deployment that saw its crew conducting operations in the Arab Gulf and South China Sea, supporting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and rescuing Indian sailors.
On July 27, the Halsey and its crew received a distress call from an Indian merchant vessel with a crew of 15 that had drifted at sea for 48 hours in the Arabian Gulf. According to a Navy press release, the Indian ship was able to continue its voyage to shore on its own power after the Halsey responded and delivered aid.
The Halsey and its crew were deployed with the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group. The Pacific-based carrier group deployed to the Arabian Gulf in June after conducting operations in the South China Sea to support the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden pledged swift withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, pulling out all troops except for embassy protection by early July. But when Taliban forces took the Afghan capital of Kabul and thousands of civilians crowded the airport trying to escape, Biden sent troops back to Afghanistan to assist evacuation efforts.
Kevin Knodell reported on the military and veterans for Civil Beat as a corps member for Report For America, a national nonprofit that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover underreported topics.