USS Sterett stretching deployment after Fitzgerald collision
The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet command is prolonging the deployment of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) after her sister ship USS Fitzgerald was damaged in a collision in June this year.
USS Sterett is staying in the Western-Pacific until the end of August to provide capability and presence in the region in response to the reduced availability of destroyers in the region after the USS Fitzgerald collision.
To remind, Fitzgerald collided with Filipino merchant vessel ACX Crystal on June 17, about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. The lives of seven U.S. Navy sailors were lost in the incident.
Sterett’s extension represents an approximate one month addition to the deployment schedule of Sterett and embarked helicopter detachment from Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 49.
Sterett and HSM 49, along with the command staff of Destroyer Squadron 31, USS Dewey (DDG 105) and embarked HSM 78, deployed from San Diego as part of the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (SAG) under Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet control, Mar. 31.
Since deploying in March, Sterett has participated in joint exercises with the U.S. Air Force and several multilateral exercises with naval units from Japan, France, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as maritime maneuvers with China.
Sterett also became the first U.S. Navy ship to visit Zhanjiang, China, since 2015 and the first to visit mainland China in 2017 following a June 12 visit.