Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Decatur (DDG 73), with embarked Destroyer Squadron 31 staff, departed their homeport of San Diego, April 19.
The destroyers will join Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen (DDG 92) in the waters off Southern California before heading to the Western Pacific as the Pacific Surface Action Group, or (PAC SAG).
Momsen departed her homeport in Naval Station Everett, Wash., April 15.
The ships deployed with the “Devil Fish” and “Warbirds” detachments of embarked Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49.
U.S. 3rd Fleet ships, aircraft, and submarines operate regularly and routinely throughout the Western Pacific in accordance with international law. Unlike previous deployments of 3rd Fleet units, the 3rd Fleet commander will maintain operational control for the entirety of the PAC SAG deployment as part of a new Pacific Fleet initiative called 3rd Fleet Forward. By maintaining operational control, the 3rd Fleet commander will direct ship movements and activities.
Historically, the U.S. 7th Fleet commander would assume control of ships that cross the international date line into the Western Pacific. The initiative provides more operational flexibility to the combatant commander by applying the command and control capabilities of both numbered fleets based on specific missions rather than geographic areas.
As more units deploy as part of this initiative, 3rd Fleet and 7th Fleet forces will complement one another seamlessly in support of security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The PAC SAG will conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability. It also expected to also participate in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI). OMSI is a Secretary of Defense program leveraging Department of Defense assets transiting the region to increase the Coast Guard’s maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting its maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.