USS Yorktown Returns To Pascagoula

The USS Yorktown returned Monday to its home port of Naval Station Pascagoula after five months at sea.

The Aegis guided-missile cruiser with a crew of 330 was deployed to the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean, said Stacey J. Byington, spokeswoman at the station here.

"I am very pleased with the crew's performance,'' said Cmdr. Bob Kerno Jr., Yorktown's commanding officer.

"They executed every evolution, from bilateral exercises to counter-narcotic operations, with the pride and professionalism that all CO's dream about.''

The first part of the Yorktown's mission included a month-long training exercise with navies from Caribbean and South American countries, Byington said. The exercise, UNITAS, was designed to improve readiness and cooperation among the naval forces.

The Yorktown then served as the central intelligence-collecting ship in the counter-narcotics operations of the eastern Pacific, Byington said. The ship worked with the U.S. Coast Guard to monitor, detect and seize illicit narcotics according to international agreements.

The Yorktown crew seized thousands of pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $300 million, Byington said.