The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Decatur returned to San Diego Monday from a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific, just in time for the holiday season.
The vessels were joined by the Washington state-based guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen and detachments of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49 from Coronado, to form the first “Pacific Surface Action Group,” which conducted routine patrols and maritime security operations, according to the Navy.
The deployment also included exercises with the Marines and Air Force, as well as allied navies.
“I am honored to have served on the first Pac SAG with these hard- working sailors,” said Capt. Charles Johnson, commander of Destroyer Squadron 31. “Their loved ones should be proud of the perseverance they demonstrated these past seven months, and we are thrilled to be home.”
The ships, with more than 600 sailors on board combined, left San Diego in April.
The 509-foot-long Spruance is named after Adm. Raymond Spruance, a cruiser division commander who substituted for the ill Adm. William “Bull” Halsey to lead an aircraft carrier task force at the Battle of Midway during World War II. Spruance and Halsey went on to split command of the Navy’s prime carrier strike force in the Pacific in later battles against the Japanese.
The Decatur is the fifth American warship named for Stephen Decatur, noted for his heroism in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812.
—City News Service