The crew of USS Decatur (DDG 73) man the rails as they sail past downtown San Diego en route to Naval Base San Diego on April 1. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Woody S. Paschall
The crew of USS Decatur man the rails as they sail past downtown en route to Naval Base San Diego on April 1. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Woody S. Paschall

Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur returned to San Diego on Monday, following a deployment that included rescuing fishermen in waters south of Sri Lanka.

After a fishing vessel suffered a mechanical failure, the Decatur provided food, water and towing assistance to seven fisherman while waiting for Sri Lankan authorities to respond to the mariner’s distress calls.

Days earlier last October, the Decatur took evasive action when a Chinese destroyer came within 45 yards.

Capt. Charles Brown, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet, was quoted by CNN as saying the Chinese warship “conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers accompanied by warnings for the Decatur to depart the area.”

Cmdr. Bob Bowen, Decatur’s commanding officer, on Monday said: “This deployment highlighted every capability that dynamic force employment provides. We were successful on deployment, providing the fleet commanders with a well-trained and equipped surface combatant capable of executing any mission assigned.”

Decatur also took part in multiple exercises and operations, including conducting maritime security operations.

“We answered the call, whether it be to assist fellow mariners at sea or conduct maritime security operations in both fleets,” Bowen said. “I am extremely proud of my crew for their hard work and dedication, and we are excited to be home.”

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific.

The Decatur is the fifth U.S. warship to be named for Stephen Decatur, born in 1779, and most noted for his heroism during the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. At age 25, he was the youngest man to be promoted to the rank of captain in the U.S. Navy.