USS Stethem Arrives at New San Diego Homeport

Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63), compete in a tug-o-war competition during the 80th annual Shimoda Black Ship Festival in May in Shimioda, Japan. The ship arrived back in San Diego July 18 after 14 years of service. U.S. NAVY / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeremy Graham

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.