Sailors man the rails as USS Sterett (DDG 104) arrives in Zhanjiang, June 12. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Byron Linder)

ZHANJIANG, China - Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) arrived in Zhanjiang, China, June 12, for a scheduled port visit.

Sterett’s visit is the first U.S. Navy visit to Zhanjiang since 2015 and the first U.S. Navy visit to mainland China in 2017.

“This visit is an exciting opportunity to promote maritime cooperation and reinforce a navy-to-navy relationship with our People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA(N)) counterparts,” said Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, Sterett’s commanding officer.

During the course of the port visit, Sailors will conduct sporting events, ship tours, and a community relations event, along with leadership office calls and receptions with the PLA(N).

Sterett is part of the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (Sterett-Dewey SAG) and arrived with the embarked command staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 and an embarked helicopter detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49.

“My staff, the Sterett crew and I are excited to be here and enjoy this port visit in Zhanjiang. Professional engagement with regional navies allows us the opportunity to build upon our existing relationships, as well as learn from each other,” said Capt. David Bretz, DESRON 31’s commodore.

The Sterett-Dewey SAG is operating with regional naval services to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability in the Western Pacific.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy, constantly coordinating with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the Pacific theater of operations.