By MC2 Richard L.J. Gourley
San Diego-based Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations on March 3.
While in the 7th Fleet area of operations, Sterett will conduct exercises and training to enhance alliances and promote peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The destroyer and embarked MH-60R detachment Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49 departed from San Diego in early February.
“It is critical for us to be able to support our allies and partners in the 7th Fleet area of operations,” said Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, Sterett’s commanding officer. “Sterett and her crew are ready to meet all of 7th Fleet’s objectives in the region.”
In addition to operations in support of regional security and stability, Sterett is scheduled to integrate with the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) to advance the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s “Up-Gunned” concept.
“Our ships [Dewey and Sterett] will provide new layers of critical capability to the Up-Gunned ESG concept by integrating with the amphibious forces of the Indo-Pacific region," said Caluori. “Our Sailors are highly trained, motivated, and ready to execute the mission."
Sterett deployed to 7th Fleet as part of a multi-month deployment in 2017 and supported similar concept development with the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group during Talisman Saber 2017.
7th Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. 7th Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th Fleet.