After 25 years abroad, USS Curtis Wilbur arrives in new San Diego homeport

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SAN DIEGO (September 16, 2021) – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) arrives in San Diego to conduct a homeport shift from Yokosuka, Japan. Curtis Wilbur was commissioned in 1994 and has been in Yokosuka, Japan since September 1995, making her the longest forward-deployed naval asset in recent history. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Julio Rivera)

SAN DIEGO – A U.S. Navy ship deployed abroad for more than two decades made its return Thursday to its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego, officials said.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur will return to San Diego for scheduled maintenance, including “routine repairs and upgrades,” according to a release by Naval Surface Forces. It has spent the past 25 years as a forward-deployed ship in Yokosuka, Japan and now will join the U.S. 3rd Fleet, where officials say it will be a “unique asset.”

In a statement, Cmdr. Anthony Massey, commanding officer of USS Curtis Wilbur, said the ship’s crew and families are “excited to arrive to our new homeport of San Diego.”

“We bring with us our ‘Steel Hammer’ professionalism and proud history of service and look forward to preparing for, and executing, operations in support of 3rd Fleet and [the Indo-Pacific],” Massey said.

According to the Navy, the ship was commissioned in 1994, joining the U.S. 7th Fleet in 1995 in Japan.

Officials say the USS Curtis Wilbur is the longest forward-deployed naval asset in recent history.

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