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USS Michael Murphy Returns to Hawai‘i After 5 Month Deployment

June 12, 2017, 4:50 AM HST · Updated June 13, 10:56 AM
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USS Michael Murphy, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, will return to its homeport Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after a successful five-month deployment.

While deployed to the Western Pacific under the US 3rd Fleet Forward construct, Michael Murphy promoted security and stability throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The ship was underway for nearly 150 days and conducted more than 600 flight hours with the ship’s attached helicopter squadron Maritime Helicopter Strike Squadron 37, Detachment 2.

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication the crew exhibited during this deployment with the Carl Vinson Strike Group,” said Cmdr. Robert A. Heely Jr., Michael Murphy’s commanding officer. “They were resilient and always up to the task.”

Michael Murphy began the deployment by conducting training as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group (which is scheduled to visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 14 – see below) off the coast of Hawaiʻi to improve readiness and cohesion as a strike group.

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Michael Murphy then conducted an 18-day joint mission with the US Coast Guard in the Central and South Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative to combat transnational crimes, enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security.

Following the OMSI mission, Michael Murphy linked back up with the strike group to conduct a routine security patrol in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, focusing on normalizing U.S. presence in the region.

“Our missions spanned from Oceania, through the South China Sea, and ended in the Sea of Japan as we strengthened our partnerships within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Heely. “Team Murphy performed exceptionally well and led the fight each step of the way.”

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Michael Murphy conducted several exercises with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Korea Navy to build and strengthen alliances with foreign navies.

Among the exercises was a visit, board, search and seizure exercise. Sailors from ROK Gang Gam Chan conducted a VBSS boarding aboard Michael Murphy. Michael Murphy VBSS members then boarded Gang Gam Chan to complete the exercise.

“Being part of the VBSS team is pretty cool,” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Rosado. “Being able to board a warship from another country is an incredible experience. The South Koreans were very welcoming, and I am glad to have met them.”

Over the five-month span, Michael Murphy executed port visits in Suva, Fiji; Honiara, Solomon Islands; Port Klang, Malaysia; and Guam. A group of Sailors also visited Funafuti, Tuvalu, for a community service event. Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored tours and events were also offered, allowing Sailors to explore the ports and experience the culture of each location.

“I went on an MWR tour in Malaysia,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Peter Rodriguez. “We took a long bus ride through the Malaysian countryside to an elephant park. It was incredible seeing the landscape and vegetation in Malaysia. I don’t think many people experienced Malaysia like I did.”

Sailors also had many opportunities to participate in community service projects, with events in Fiji, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Guam. Sailors landscaped in Fiji, interacted with students at an intermediate school in Tuvalu, delivered extra medical supplies to a hospital in Solomon Islands and painted and picked up trash around a school in Guam.

“I participated in the Tuvalu community service event at a local intermediate school,” said Ensign Kasey Landry. “It was humbling to experience the culture of Tuvalu. I was amazed to see how passionate the teachers were, and although we were there to help their community, it was the people of Tuvalu who gave the most, humbling and embracing Michael Murphy Sailors in their homes.”

Commissioned Oct. 6, 2012, USS Michael Murphy is named after former US Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, June 28, 2005. He was the first person to be awarded the medal for actions in Afghanistan and was the first member of the US Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

Michael Murphy is part of US 3rd Fleet and US Naval Surface Forces. US 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy, working constantly with US 7th Fleet. The forces of both fleets complement one another across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.

USS Carl Vinson visits Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam following deployment

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is scheduled to visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaiʻi, June 14.

Commanded by Capt. Douglas Verissimo, the ship and her crew of more than 5,000 Sailors departed Naval Air Station North Island for a regularly-scheduled deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the US Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of US 3rd Fleet into the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, Jan. 5.

During the deployment, Carl Vinson conducted training as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Hawaii to improve readiness and cohesion as a strike group.

Carl Vinson also conducted bilateral operations with the Republic of Korea Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, including visit, board, search and seizure drills, tactical maneuvering, flag hoisting drills, photo exercises and air, surface and anti-submarine warfare training.

Additionally, Carl Vinson participated in the maritime portion of Exercise Foal Eagle, a series of annual defense-oriented training events designed to increase readiness to defend the ROK, protect the region, and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula. The exercise is conducted by ROK-US Combined Forces Command and United States component commands in Korea, to include ground, air, naval and special operations.

Over the five-and-a-half month span, Carl Vinson executed port visits in Guam; Busan, Republic of Korea; and Singapore. While visiting each port, Carl Vinson Sailors participated in numerous community service events, including volunteer service at schools, community centers, an animal shelter and a food bank.

US 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. Third Fleet constantly coordinates with US 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.

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