USS Stethem (DDG 63) steams alongside USS Barry (DDG 52) during a formation exercise as part of MultiSail 2017 in March. (U.S. Navy/MC2 William McCann)

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) returned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, May 28.

Stethem departed Yokosuka in January to begin its 2017 patrol in the Western Pacific.

“Over the past four months, our operations provided maritime presence in the Indo-Asia Pacific region and strengthened our relationships with key allies,” said Cmdr. Doug Pegher, Stethem's commanding officer.

While on patrol, Stethem participated in the bilateral exercise MultiSail 2017, Foal Eagle 2017, and conducted operations in the Sea of Japan, the Philippine Sea, the South and East China Seas, and the Yellow Sea.

Stethem operated with the Carl Vinson Strike Group, the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force during the patrol.

The ship made routine port visits in Guam; Sasebo, Japan; and Donghae, Republic of Korea, where the crew conducted community service projects with local citizens and ROKN sailors.

Stethem was also the first foreign warship to make a port visit at the Jeju Naval Base facility on the island of Jeju-do, Republic of Korea.

“I’m proud of the hard work and professionalism of every Sailor aboard during this patrol,” Pegher said. “They excelled in every mission assigned and now can enjoy some well-deserved time with family and friends.”

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW). Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups.

USS Stethem is forward-deployed to Japan, and routinely operates throughout the Indo-AsiaPacific to support regional security and stability. The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-AsiaPacific routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security.