USS Russell
The USS Russell fires its 5-inch gun during an exercise. Navy photo

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell returned to San Diego Friday, following a deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations.

The Russell crew left San Diego in early December to take part in a sustainment exercise with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group before deploying to the Indo-Pacific last Dec. 23.

“Russell’s `Red Dragons’ demonstrated that no matter the tasking, whether it is assisting those in need, supporting partnerships with allies, or integrating with joint forces — from the Southern Hemisphere to the Arctic region — we are able to accomplish an incredible variety of missions wherever we are needed,” said Cmdr. James Hopp, the ship’s commanding officer. “This crew has shown remarkable resilience and skill, and should be especially proud of what they accomplished this deployment.”

While operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet, Russell’s crew conducted operations in Oceania and also worked with the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Papua, New Guinea. While operating in the Indian Ocean, Russell participated in a joint force maritime exercise with the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group.

In February, the guided-missile destroyer participated in dual carrier operations with the Theodore Roosevelt and Nimitz strike groups that showcased the all-domain capabilities of two carrier strike groups and their ability to quickly aggregate in any area of operation. Additionally, Russell executed expeditionary strike force operations with TRCSG and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group in the South China Sea.

Most recently, Russell participated in Exercise Northern Edge 2021 in the Gulf of Alaska.

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