USS Mason returns home to Mayport after nearly 9 months of combat at sea

USS Mason returns home to Mayport after nearly 9 months of combat at sea

MAYPORT NAVAL STATION, Florida. – The USS Mason returned home to Naval Station Mayport on Tuesday after nearly nine months of prolonged combat operations.

Hundreds of sailors from the USS Mason, a guided-missile destroyer armed with torpedoes, a mounted gun, missiles and a defense system, were reunited with their loved ones.

RELATED: The Mayport-based USS Mason is among ships defending against Houthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea

The ship was deployed in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Mediterranean Sea, protecting vital shipping channels.

Retired Navy Adm. Robert Natter said coming home is always a great feeling.

“When people are shooting at you, you come home with a lot more satisfaction that you survived and prevailed against the enemy, and certainly very content and happy to be alive,” Natter said.

The Mason was part of a Navy strike group that took heavy fire in the Middle East, destroying more than 22 Houthi targets in Yemen and five medium-range ballistic missiles launched by Iran.

The USS Carney, which worked with the Mason, returned home to Mayport in May after a seven-month deployment.

Carney destroyed Houthi-launched weapons and 65 targets in Yemen.

It can be a change for sailors to get back to normal life after spending so much time on the water.

“The first thing you have to get used to is that your boss is not going to be with you, whether it’s a man or a woman, because that person has been taking care of the family, has been taking care of all the issues at home,” Natter said. “It really is an alliance, especially for those who are deployed in the military for a period of time.”

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