Despite facing a strong tropical cyclone offshore near Okinawa, Japan, with 110-knot winds and 28-foot swells, the USS Ford (FFG-54), commanded by Captain David Schnell, completed its five-month mission and returned to Naval Station Everett. Led by Captain David Schnell, who retired honorably after a nearly 30-year career in the United States Navy, and his crew used evasive maneuvers to avoid the worst of the cyclone.
Friends and family members greeted the sailors who had been away for more than six months at Naval Station Everett. During its deployment, which was extended by an additional month, the crew patrolled the Western Pacific, South China Sea, and Sea of Japan. While there, it participated in various naval exercises, including Northern Edge, Joint Air-Sea Exercise (JASEX), and Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). “It was a great deployment. We did get extended for a month, but the crew took it in stride. As a consolation, we ended up getting a port visit to Australia,” said Captain Schnell.
About Captain David Schnell
A decorated officer of the United States Navy, Captain David Schnell earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Metal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal during his many years of service.