USS O'Kane (DDG 77) transits the waters of Pearl Harbor in January. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Daniel Barker)

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Guided-missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) will depart Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam March 7 for a deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean and Arabian Gulf.

O'Kane is a multi-mission ship with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities; designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group. While deployed, O'Kane will conduct Theater Security Cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations.

"We're ready to operate forward and take on the challenges ahead," said Cmdr. James Juster, commanding officer of O'Kane. "I'm very grateful for the tremendous support we've received from the Pearl Harbor waterfront, throughout our maintenance and training periods, to ensure we're ready to execute a wide variety of missions while we're deployed."

O'Kane is named for Rear Admiral O'Kane, who was a submarine commander in World War II who received the Medal of Honor for his service aboard USS Tang (SS-306). He participated directly in more successful attacks on shipping than any other submarine officer during the war.

"O'Kane families have been incredibly supportive and understanding during a busy year leading up to this deployment, and that support continues as we look to departing Pearl Harbor this week," added Juster. "We sincerely appreciate the daily sacrifices our loved ones make in support of our ability to go forward and carry out our missions overseas."

The ship is assigned to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31 (CDS-31), immediate superior in command for all Pearl Harbor-based destroyers in the Western Pacific aligned under Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

"O'Kane is ready to go. We put them through the paces to be ready to operate forward. The talent and leadership they have on board is impressive." said Capt. Chris Bushnell, CDS-31 Commodore. "We look forward to hearing their achievements and seeing their safe return home."

Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific leads and manages the overall warfighting capability of the surface combatant force homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. MIDPAC ships support U.S. Pacific Fleet in leading America's rebalance to the Pacific.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.