In this May 29, 2011 file photo, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) prepares to sails alongside Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during an underway replenishment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans)

SAN DIEGO (NNS) - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) returned to its San Diego homeport July 22, after completing a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) carrier strike group.

While deployed, Gridley's mission focused on theater security cooperation, increasing stability and cooperation among regional allies. Gridley conducted exercises with ships from other navies, including the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, and Republic of Singapore Navy. In conjunction with Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines (JSOTF), Gridley combated violent extremism through training events and professional exchanges.

"We have a remarkable relationship and growing partnership with many countries throughout the Western Pacific, and I'm pleased that our Sailors had the opportunity to experience rich cultures while acting as ambassadors for the United States," said Cmdr. Benjamin Allbritton, Gridley commanding officer. "Gridley was able to demonstrate goodwill and cooperation through community service projects, selected group tours, and other interactions during scheduled port visits."

Gridley Sailors participated in community relations projects in Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Gridley deployed with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, led by Rear Adm. Samuel Perez, and Destroyer Squadron 1, led by Capt. John Steinberger. Helicopter Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Detachment Five was embarked. Other ships in the CSG included USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and USS Stockdale (DDG 106).

Gridley helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.