US Navy destroyers wrap up visit to Darwin

Two of the three U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that form the 3rd Fleet Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG) departed Darwin, Australia, July 20 after a routine port visit.

Prior to pulling into port, guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Momsen (DDG 92), along with several Australian military assets recently conducted a bilateral training exercise consisting of communication and navigation drills throughout the Timor Sea. The intent of the exercise was to enhance military-to-military interoperability for future joint operations.

While in port, Momsen and Spruance continued preparations for their ongoing operations to promote stability and maritime support in the region. The PAC SAG also consists of USS Decatur (DDG 73) and embarked “Devil Fish” and “Warbirds” detachments from the “Scorpions” of Helicopter Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, operating under CDS-31.

“Working with the U.S. Navy’s Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 31 has been a great experience — especially the opportunity to work with three Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers before the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Hobart-class Aegis destroyers are commissioned,” said RAN Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Scott.

Under the operational control of U.S. 3rd Fleet, the PAC SAG is conducting routine patrols, maritime security operations and theater cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability. Decatur and Momsen have conducted multilateral exercises with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, as well as U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps assets.

Spruance also began their portion of the deployment participating in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI). OMSI is a Secretary of Defense program leveraging Department of Defense assets transiting the region to increase the Coast Guard’s maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting its maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania.