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SAN DIEGO - Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) returned to San Diego after a deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations, May 21.
Russell left San Diego in early December 2020 to take part in a sustainment exercise with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) before deploying to the Indo-Pacific, Dec. 23, 2020.
"Russell's ‘Red Dragons’ demonstrated that no matter the tasking, whether it is assisting those in need, supporting partnerships with allies, or integrating with joint forces, from the Southern Hemisphere to the Arctic region, we are able to accomplish an incredible variety of missions wherever we are needed," said Cmdr. James Hopp, commanding officer of Russell. “This crew has shown remarkable resilience and skill, and should be especially proud of what they accomplished this deployment.”
While operating in U.S. 7th Fleet, Russell conducted maritime security and presence operations in Oceania, to enforce a rules-based international order and support a free and open Indo-Pacific. Operations included Economic Exclusion Zone enforcement operations and a coordinated patrol with Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Maritime Law Enforcement units. Russell also supported partner nation security objectives with the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea. While operating in the Indian Ocean, Russell participated in a joint force maritime exercise with the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and TRCSG, strengthening proficiencies and interoperability with our natural partners, with a shared commitment to regional security and stability.
“I am unbelievably proud of the performance of the entire Russell crew during this challenging deployment,” said Capt. Steven McDowell, commander, Destroyer Squadron 23. “The work they did as part of the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group helped to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and ensured security and prosperity in the region.”
In February, Russell participated in dual carrier operations with TRCSG and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group that showcased the all-domain capabilities of two carrier strike groups and their ability to quickly aggregate in any area of operation. Additionally, Russell executed expeditionary strike force operations with TRCSG and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group in the South China Sea demonstrating the U.S. Navy’s commitment to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows.
Most recently, Russell participated in Exercise Northern Edge (NE) 21 in the Gulf of Alaska. A U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercise hosted by U.S. Pacific Air Forces, NE 21 provided high-end, realistic war fighter training, developed and improved joint interoperability, and enhanced the combat readiness of participating forces.
An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations—from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region.