USS Chafee (DDG 90) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Jan. 12. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Justin R. Pacheco)

PEARL HARBOR - The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam from an independent deployment to the Western Pacific and South America, Jan. 12.

Chafee has a crew of nearly 350 officers and enlisted Sailors and is a multi-mission ship designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group. The embarked maintainers and pilots from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 served as the air support for the ship throughout the deployment.

While deployed, the ship conducted theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations throughout the Pacific. Chafee engaged in multinational exercises with navies from Chile, Peru, Republic of Korea, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, among other countries. Her crew recovered more than 800kg of illicit narcotics while patrolling the waters of 4th Fleet. Additionally, the destroyer successfully integrated into Carrier Strike Group 5 in support of the USS Ronald Reagan’s extensive patrol of the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

“The superior performance of Chafee on deployment is a testament to the hard work and sacrifice of all the men and women serving aboard,” said Cmdr. Jacob Braun, commanding officer of Chafee. “Their teamwork, positive attitude and spirit ensured Chafee was always prepared to execute tasking.”

Chafee was named after the late Sen. John Lester Hubbard Chafee, a Marine veteran who fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal and served as the Secretary of the Navy. The ship was last deployed to the Western Pacific and South America in 2015.

Chafee is part of U.S. Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy, working constantly with U.S. 7th Fleet. The forces of both fleets complement one another across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.