US 3rd Fleet destroyers pull into Hong Kong

U.S. Navy destroyers USS Sterett and USS Dewey arrived in Hong Kong on April 29 for their first foreign port visit on their Western Pacific deployment.

The command staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104), along with an embarked helicopter detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, departed from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 14.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) and an embarked helicopter detachment from HSM 78 will conduct operations off the coast of Guam during Sterett’s Hong Kong visit.

During the transit from Hawaii to Hong Kong, Sterett and DESRON 31 sailors conducted a series of exercises, including seamanship and damage control training, as well as flight operations. Sterett additionally executed a maneuvering and tracking event with the USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), Apr. 22.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of Hong Kong after a long transit across the Pacific,” said Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, commanding officer of Sterett. “As our first liberty port, we are eager to experience the rich culture and history that Hong Kong has to offer while strengthening our relationships within the region.”

Throughout its deployment, the Sterett-Dewey SAG will operate with regional naval services to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability in the Western Pacific.

U.S. 3rd Fleet retained control of the Sterett-Dewey SAG when it crossed the international dateline, Apr. 17, into what has traditionally been U.S. 7th Fleet’s operational control area. U.S. 3rd Fleet operating forward offers additional options to the Pacific Fleet commander by leveraging the capabilities of both the 3rd and 7th fleets. This operational concept allows both numbered fleets to complement one another and provide the foundation of stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.