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Baldwinsville native supports Navy task group countering Russian undersea threats

By Stephanie Fox

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Thomas Werth, a chief petty officer and native of Baldwinsville, will support the U.S. Navy’s new Task Group Greyhound while serving aboard USS Thomas Hudner. (PHOTO CREDIT: NAVY OFFICE OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH)

Chief Petty Officer Thomas Werth, a native of Baldwinsville, will support the U.S. Navy’s new Task Group Greyhound while serving aboard USS Thomas Hudner. The task group was established to ensure warships in the Western Atlantic are continuously ready to accomplish a full range of on-demand missions including missions to counter Russian undersea threats to the homeland.

“It is important to maintain not only our presence with our capabilities, but to also keep our skills sharp in case the need ever arises that we need to utilize them,” said Werth.

Undersea security is a major concern in the Atlantic because adversaries are closing the gap in the undersea domain, according to Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic. He joined Rear Adm. Brian Davies, commander, Submarine Group Two and deputy commander, 2nd Fleet, formally introducing Task Group Greyhound at an event held at Naval Station Mayport (in Jacksonville, Florida) aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner on Sept. 27.

“Task Group Greyhound provides us a way to increase continuity between training and operating against high-end competitors in a dynamic environment,” McLane said. “These destroyers are now designated under Task Group Greyhound in the western Atlantic on watch 24/7 ready to practice, integrate, and operate at a moment’s notice.”

The Task Group is a reference to the World War II destroyers, or “Greyhounds of the Fleet,” that patrolled the seas in the “Battle of the Atlantic.” The modern version is similar to how readiness is maintained aboard Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Spain.

The first two ships participating will be USS Thomas Hudner and USS Donald Cook. Additional ships will be added as the initiative reaches Final Operational Capability in the summer of 2022. Serving in the Navy means Werth is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy provides a world wide presence, maintaining friendly relationships with our allies and partners, all the while keeping our adversaries in check,” said Werth.

For Werth, training and preparing for missions in the U.S. Navy runs in the family. “Serving in the Navy is a family tradition,” he said. “I am proud to carry on my heritage through three generations.”