USS Russell (DDG 59) file photo. (U.S. Navy/Lt. j.g. Tommy Rose)

PACIFIC OCEAN - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) arrived in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), Sept. 20 after departing its homeport of San Diego, Sept. 9.

Commanded by Cmdr. Gill McCarthy, Russell is a ballistic missile defense ship that departed her homeport as an independent deployer.

She is scheduled to conduct theater security cooperation engagements and maritime security operations while maintaining security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region prior to entering U.S. 5th Fleet AOR.

"It is an honor to serve with the finest crew in the fleet," said McCarthy. "There is no mission that cannot be performed by a crew this talented on a warship this formidable."

Prior to proceeding on deployment, Russell participated in an independent deployer certification exercise. The exercise provided a multi-ship environment to train and certify independent deployers in surface warfare, air defense, maritime interception operations, command and control/information warfare, command, control, computers and combat systems intelligence, and mine warfare.

Russell is a multi-mission ship with strike warfare, anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare capabilities designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.