USS Stout returns home rusty after spending 215 consecutive days at sea after being unable to dock due to coronavirus fears
- The USS Stout returned to Virgina’s Naval Station Norfolk on October 11
- The destroyer had spent 215 consecutive days at sea
- During that time, the ship did not dock in any port due to fear of the corona virus
- It has carried out the necessary maintenance and planned conservation at sea
- To keep the crew’s morale up, they were treated to steel beach parties and swimming visits
The USS Stout and its crew lived up to its name after spending 215 consecutive days at sea after the coronavirus pandemic made it unsafe to enter ports around the world.
The destroyer left Virginia Naval Station in Norfolk in mid-January and finally ended his grueling nine-month commitment when he returned home on October 11. US Navy said.
En route, the USS Stout covered more than 60,000 nautical miles and completed multiple straits and bottlenecks transits as it crossed the Atlantic Ocean while operating in the 2nd, 5th, and 6th US fleets on various missions including insurance of the free flow of trade.
The USS Stout (pictured) spent 215 consecutive days at sea during the pandemic and returned to port with rust and wear and tear to prove it
The USS Stout is pictured here returning to Virginia’s Naval Station Norfolk with rusty patches marring its mostly pristine gray exterior
Recent photos of the USS Stout – which entered service in 1994 – show the wear and tear that the ship took at sea for almost an entire year.
Under normal circumstances, the exterior of the USS Stout would look a crisp gray. But now it is riddled with rust and the hull looks like it is being eaten away by the sea.
As concerns about the coronavirus made it unsafe for USS Stouts to conduct usual port visits, the Navy said the crew had completed “ the first modern Mid-Deployment Voyage Repair (MDVR) period at sea. ”
During that time, the crew of the USS Stout spent a week performing scheduled maintenance and preservation on the ship “to keep the mission ready during deployment.”
At other times during the deployment, the ship’s technicians performed ‘depot-level repairs’ on vital engineering and combat equipment.
The USS Stout can be seen here when it docked October 11 with rust and hull damage sustained during nine months at sea
The USS Stout as it normally looks (anno 2010), stainless with its immaculate gray facade
Nearly 40 nourishments at sea were carried out while on the ocean, allowing the USS Stout to continue its mission.
To help the crew maintain morale during the long-term deployment trapped aboard the 505-meter vessel, the Navy said it was conducting swim calls – allowing the crew to swim in the ocean while others keep an eye out for sharks – and steel beach picnics , where barbecues are held on deck.
The crew of the USS Stout were also given a ‘rest & reset’ period while at sea so they could relax and recharge their batteries.
The destroyer broke the Navy’s previous record at sea, the army said.
Previously, the record was held by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS San Jacinto, which were at sea for 206 consecutive days, also due to the pandemic and operational requirements.
The USS Stout supported both ships, but remained at sea when the USS Eisenhower and Jacinto returned home in the summer.
Before the pandemic, the record for the longest consecutive days at sea for a U.S. Navy ship was 160 days, set by the USS Theodore Roosevelt in February 2002 during the war in Afghanistan, according to Navy Times.