In this file photo, USS Stethem (DDG 63) steams during a three-carrier strike force exercise in the Western Pacific, Nov. 12. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Kelsey J. Hockenberger)

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) returned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Nov. 30, after completing a scheduled two-month patrol.

While deployed, the ship visited Busan, Republic of Korea, operated with navies from the Republic of Korea and Japan, and supported Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 while patrolling the Western Pacific.

As part of CSG 5, Stethem supported USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during a three-carrier strike force exercise in the Western Pacific, Nov. 11-14, with the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) strike groups.

During the exercise, the strike force conducted air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuvers and other training. This was the first time that three carrier strike groups have operated together in the Western Pacific since exercises Valiant Shield 2006 and 2007 off the coast of Guam.

While underway, Stethem also participated in Annual Exercise 2017, the premier training event between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. During the exercise, Stethem conducted anti-submarine warfare training designed to increase the defensive readiness and interoperability of Japanese and American forces.

Stethem is forward-deployed to Yokosuka and assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.