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Navy Ships Return to San Diego Homeport After Middle East, Pacific Deployment

Chief Fire Controlman Ryan Williams, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guid...

Credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Abigayle Lutz / US Navy

Above: Chief Fire Controlman Ryan Williams, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106), meets his son for the first time moments after Stockdale returns home to San Diego, May 20.

A pair of U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer ships returned to their San Diego homeport Monday after a deployment to the Indo-Pacific and Middle East.

The USS Spruance and USS Stockdale, part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group and homeported in the Navy's 3rd Fleet, were deployed to areas that are generally overseen by the Navy's 5th and 7th Fleets. Ships in the strike group left their respective ports last October and November, collaborating with international allies to improve relations and combat readiness around the world.

While in the South Arabian Sea, the USS Spruance completed an anti-submarine combat exercise with military officials from Sri Lanka. The Spruance also assisted with eight allied ship passages through the Strait of Hormuz and conducted combat exercises with sailors from the Australian, British and French navies, according to Navy officials.

"I am eternally impressed by our sailors' ability to overcome the challenges presented during periods of high operational demand and am very proud of the men and women of Spruance," said Cmdr. Matthew Smidt, the Spruance's commanding officer. "We are all excited for some well-deserved time at home with family and friends."

In both deployment regions, the USS Stockdale assisted the USS John C. Stennis and several other Navy and civilian-owned ships as an escort. The Stockdale also conducted nautical security operations in the 7th Fleet, which is headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the Navy's Pacific Fleet.

"This deployment highlighted every capability that the Carrier Strike Group provides," said Cmdr. Leonard Leos, the USS Stockdale's commanding officer. "Our dynamic team was properly manned and trained, and we were able to safely and successfully meet all mission requirements across every fleet."

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