SAN DIEGO - The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Stockdale (DDG 106), including detachments from the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 “Raptors,” returned to their homeport of San Diego, May 20, following a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet areas of operation as part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group.
John C. Stennis Strike Group, consisting of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and Destroyer Squadron 21 departed their respective homeports in October and November 2018.
While on deployment, Spruance and Stockdale participated in multiple exercises with international allies throughout the Indo-Pacific and Middle Eastern regions, strengthening global relations and partnerships while maintaining combat readiness.
In Southeast Asia, Spruance worked alongside Sri Lanka in the South Arabian Sea during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka 2019 and a bilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise.
While in 5th Fleet, Spruance supported Operation Inherent Resolve, conducted eight Strait of Hormuz transits, and participated in exercises Intrepid Sentinel and Ship Anti-Submarine Warfare Readiness and Evaluation Measurement (SHAREM) with the Australian, British, and French Navies.
"Our Sailors did a fantastic job this deployment, adapting to a wide variety of environments and a rapid tempo of operations,” said Cmdr. Matthew A. Smidt, Spruance's commanding officer “I am eternally impressed by our Sailor's ability to overcome the challenges presented during periods of high operational demand and am very proud of the men and women of Spruance. We are all excited for some well-deserved time at home with family and friends."
While in 7th Fleet, Stockdale conducted maritime security operations. In both 7th and 5th fleets, Stockdale conducted multiple escort operations to ensure safe passage of the USS John C. Stennis and other navy and civilian ships.
“This deployment highlighted every capability that the Carrier Strike Group provides,” said Cmdr. Leonard Leos, Stockdale’s commanding officer. “Our dynamic team was properly manned and trained, and we were able to safely and successfully meet all mission requirements across every fleet.”
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. U.S. 3rd Fleet works constantly with U.S. 7th Fleet to complement one another and provide commanders capable, ready assets across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.