PACIFIC OCEAN - USS McCampbell (DDG 85) departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, July 2, following 13 years of service forward deployed to U.S. 7th Fleet.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is en route to Portland, Oregon, where she will undergo her midlife modernization. Following routine maintenance and system upgrades, McCampbell will proceed to Naval Station Everett, Washington, where she will be homeported.
McCampbell operated in the Indo-Pacific while assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy's largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet's principal surface force.
"It has been an honor and privilege for the McCampbell crew to serve alongside the advanced warfighters in the most challenging operational environment. We also cherish the relationship we have developed with the Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Japan community and our JMSDF neighbors,” said Cmdr. Patrick Sullivan, McCampbell’s commanding officer. “We are very appreciative for all of the support for McCampbell and our families during the last 13 years.”
McCampbell arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, in July of 2007 while under the command of Cmdr. William M. Triplett to take the place of USS Gary and operated alongside the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as part of the Kitty Hawk Strike Group.
“The Yokosuka community was very welcoming when we arrived in July of 2007,” said Capt. (ret) William Triplett. “We had 50 percent of the crew coming over from Gary that had only done independent operations. So, our task was to quickly integrate this new blended crew and make them ready for strike group operations along with getting the rest of the crew settled in their new home. That first year was memorable and the crew came together quickly and made a great first impression on our new community, DESRON 15, and Task Force 70.”
McCampbell’s service in 7th Fleet contributed to providing security and stability throughout the region by working alongside allies and partners. She conducted a multitude of humanitarian operations, strengthening the bonds with allied nations. In 2008, the ship supported disaster relief efforts off the coast of Indonesia following a series of earthquakes that caused significant damage to the region. In 2011, McCampbell was an active contributor in Operation Tomodachi to provide relief to Japanese citizens affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. In 2012, the ship rescued five Filipino fishermen off the coast of the Philippines after their boat had capsized.
"In her 12 years with DESRON 15, McCampbell made lasting positive impacts to our allies, regional partners, and to the security of the Indo-Pacific region," said Capt. Steven DeMoss, DESRON 15 commander. "McCampbell has been a workhorse for the theater commanders ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. In particular, this last year the crew spent more days at sea than any other ship in theater. As they return to the U.S. for modernization and upgrades, McCampbell and her crew have established a proud legacy of service and excellence in Seventh Fleet."
McCampbell routinely participated in several multinational exercises including, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), with regional navies in Southeast Asia. The ship also conducted Ship Anti-submarine Warfare Readiness and Evaluation Measurement (SHAREM) as well as multiple cooperative deployments with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). McCampbell was also a regular participant in exercises Talisman Sabre and Malabar, hosted by Australia and India, respectively.
McCampbell is scheduled to join U.S. 3rd Fleet, which leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. U.S. 3rd Fleet works consistently with U.S. 7th Fleet to complement one another and provide commanders capable, ready assets across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.