ABOARD USS TRENTON -- USS Trenton (LPD 14) pulls into its homeport of Norfolk, Va. on August 8, 2000, signifying the completion of their 173-day Mediterranean deployment.
Since departing Norfolk on February 18 as part of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group(Wasp ARG), Trenton has visited ten liberty ports and conducted five multinational amphibious exercises.
It will be a long time before Sailors and Marines forget the many Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored tours from Bari and Ancona, Italy; the beaches and relaxation of Corfu and Mykonos, Greece; the variety of interests of Barcelona, Spain; the shopping of La Maddalena, Italy; the opportunity of a lifetime when they visited Odessa, Ukraine; the rich history and culture of Haifa, Israel and the nightlife of Rota, Spain.
Trenton had the opportunity to display its professionalism during five amphibious exercises held throughout the six month deployment, starting with "Spanish PHIBLEX" held March 4 -12, in which Trenton and the Wasp ARG paired with Spanish Military Forces to conduct an assault on the Atlantic Coast of Spain.
March 18, Trenton began its participation in "Dynamic Response 2000", which lasted until April 13. NATO Exercise "Dynamic Mix 2000" was conducted May 20 to June 6, in which Trenton and the Wasp ARG joined several European Nations to conduct amphibious assaults on the island of Sardinia and the Coast of Greece.
For the NATO Partnership for Peace (PFP) Exercise "Cooperative Partner", June 19 to July 1, Trenton was configured for split-ARG operations, having four helicopters and personnel onboard for this humanitarian assistance exercise in the Black Sea.
Trenton then rejoined the Wasp ARG in Haifa, Israel to participate in exercise "Noble Shirley" from July 5 - 14.
Trenton had its fair share of visitors aboard. March 19, MGen. Deyermond, USA, CG KFOR Rear arrived in Trenton welldeck via LCAC during its offload of Exercise "Dynamic Response 2000" off the coast of Greece. In addition, VADM Norbert Ryan, Chief Of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations visited Trenton on April 3, while the ship was inport Bari, Italy. He spoke to the crew about the state of the Navy's Recruiting Program, Pay Incentives and Retention of its Sailors.
At the top of the VIP list of visitors was the Honorable Steven Pifer, The United States Ambassador to the Ukraine, who flew aboard Trenton June 30, to get a first-hand look at how Exercise "Cooperative Partner" had been executed in the Black Sea.
He was accompanied by several Distinguished Visitors including Admiral James Ellis, Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe and The Commander in Chiefs of the Bulgarian, Azerbaijan, Romanian and Ukranian Navies.
One of the greatest things that occurred for Trenton on this deployment was the opportunity to work with a large number of different nations in the five exercises that Trenton executed. The crew and Marines of MSSG-24 had the pleasure of working
side-by-side with forces from Spain, France, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Israel, Belguim, Germany, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Sweden and the Ukraine.
Commander Brian Goulding is the Commanding Officer of Trenton. Commander Goulding was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Michigan State University. He entered the Navy via Officer Candidate School and was Commissioned in 1982. He is a 1995 Graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.
At sea he has served aboard USS Midway (CV 41) as M Division Officer and Assistant Navigator; as Navigator and Administration Officer On USS Oldendorf (DD 972); Chief Engineer On USS Rathburne (FF 1057); and Executive Officer Of USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53).
Ashore, Commander Goulding was an instructor at the Steam Engineering Officer of the Watch Course at The Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island; Steam Propulsion Plant Examiner at the Pacific Fleet Propulsion Examining Board; and most recently as a Joint Task Force Exercise Planner at United States Atlantic Command in Suffolk, Virginia.