Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today thanked a Bremerton-based aircraft carrier that accelerated its deployment schedule to meet threats in Persian Gulf nations such as Syria and Iran.
“You’re the best I have,” he told the crew of the USS John C. Stennis.
His trip marked his first visit to the Puget Sound as defense secretary. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, greeted him. Panetta called the retiring congressman a champion for the country’s defense.
The Stennis returned from its last deployment to the Persian Gulf in March and anticipated another mission at the end of this year. Panetta in July expedited the …