USS Benfold (DDG 65) file photo. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Nathan Burke)

SAN DIEGO - The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) is scheduled to depart San Diego Oct. 2 for Yokosuka, Japan, where the ship will join U.S. 7th Fleet's Forward Deployed Naval Forces.

Benfold will enhance presence in 7th Fleet as part of the U.S. Navy's long-range plan to send the most advanced and capable units to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, while adding to the Ballistic Missile Defense capable ships in the area of operations. The security environment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific requires that the U.S. Navy station the most capable ships forward. This stance allows rapid response times for maritime and joint forces in any given situation, and brings our most capable ships with the greatest amount of striking power to bear in the timeliest manner.

"We are proud to join the Forward Deployed Forces family in Japan, " said Cmdr. Michele Day, Benfold's Commanding Officer. "After a demanding shipyard period and training cycle, our Sailors are anxious to have an opportunity to prove their abilities among some of the most capable ships in our Navy. We look forward to the waterfront camaraderie and sense of community in Yokosuka."

Future missions will include maritime security operations and cooperative training exercises with allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

This ship, along with her counterparts in the Japan Self-Defense Forces, makes up part of the core capabilities needed by the alliance to meet our common strategic objectives. The United States values Japan's contributions to the peace, security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific and its long-term commitment and hospitality in hosting U.S. forces forward deployed there. These forces, along with its counterparts in the Japan Self-Defense Forces, make up the core capabilities needed by the alliance to meet our common strategic objectives.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.