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Navy deploys San Diego-based USS Sterett & Dewey to the Western Pacific

WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 16, 2014) Guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) launches an SM2 rocket during a missile exercise conducted during a two-carrier strike group training evolution known as Valiant Shield. Dewey is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group. Carl Vinson and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, are on deployment in the 7th Fleet area of operations supporting Valiant Shield. Valiant Shield is a U.S.–only biennial exercise in which participation will focus on the integration of joint training among U.S. forces. (U.S. Navy photo taken by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eric Coffer/Released).

SAN DIEGO – Two San Diego-based destroyers are scheduled to leave Friday for the western Pacific Ocean.

The USS Sterett and USS Dewey will deploy with embarked helicopter detachments from Helicopter Maritime Squadrons 49 and 78, which are based at Naval Air Station North Island.

The vessels will make up a surface action group that will be overseen by the Third Fleet throughout the deployment. Normally, ships fall under the command of other fleets as they sail into their geographic areas. The Third Fleet, for example, generally handles vessels east of the International Date Line. But the Navy tried the new concept last year and considered it a success.

“We are building upon the successes and applying the lessons learned from the inaugural Pacific surface action group deployment,” said Capt. David Bretz, commander of Destroyer Squadron 31. “We are ready and able to support a variety of exercises and missions with our partners and allies in support of maritime stability and security in the Western Pacific.”

The Sterett-Dewey surface action groups will operate with regional navies to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability, the Navy said.

The Sterett and Dewey returned from their most recent deployments in June 2015, when they spent nine months escorting the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

The vessels are named after Andrew Sterett, who commanded the USS Enterprise in a battle off the Barbary Coast in 1801, and George Dewey, who fought in the Spanish-American War and was the only officer to hold the rank of Admiral of the Navy.