SAN DIEGO — The guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) arrives at its new homeport, Naval Base San Diego, July 18, following 14 years of forward-deployed service in the Indo-Pacific region operating from Japan, the commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a July 17 release.
As part of the U.S. 7th Fleet’s Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Japan, Stethem worked alongside allies and partners to provide security and stability throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. Stethem arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, in June of 2005. While serving in 7th Fleet, Stethem conducted a wide range of operations, exercises and port visits, including disaster relief as well as search-and-rescue missions. In 2011, the ship supported Operation Tomodachi to provide relief to Japanese citizens affected by the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, and this year, joined Japan-led search operations for a missing Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35.
While in San Diego, Stethem will undergo a planned maintenance and modernization period. Stethem will be fitted with the latest combat system suite, which includes state-of-the-art air defense, ballistic-missile defense, surface warfare and undersea warfare capabilities.