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    USS Benfold joins U.S. 7th Fleet to enhance security, stability to the region



    Story by Joshua Karsten  

    Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet   

    YOKOSUKA, Japan - Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) arrived at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) Oct. 19, where she joins U.S. 7th Fleet's Forward Deployed Naval Forces.

    "My crew and I are very excited to arrive in Yokosuka and join this elite group of forward deployed forces in Japan," said Cmdr. Michele Day, Benfold's commanding officer. "For more than 50 years, the U.S. and Japan alliance has been the foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and the cornerstone of the U.S. engagement in the region," she told reporters on the pier immediately following the ship's arrival.

    The ship, with a crew of approximately 280 members, departed Naval Station San Diego early October to transit to Japan.

    "Today is significant because we add another destroyer, one of the United States' most capable destroyers, to the forces in this region," said Capt. Christopher Sweeney, commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. "With the USS Benfold, we now have eight destroyers in Yokosuka. The U.S.-Japan relationship is strengthened at sea with many destroyers, seamlessly operating together, adding to the security, stability, peace and prosperity of the region."

    Benfold completed a mid-life modernization, making it among the most capable ships of the Arleigh Burke class. The ship was fitted with the latest Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes state of the art air defense, ballistic missile defense, surface warfare and undersea warfare capabilities.

    "The addition of Benfold provides greater capability and capacity in all mission areas and supports United States commitment to Japan and the security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," said Day.

    Benfold also received upgrades including a fully-integrated bridge, improved machinery, damage control and quality of life improvements, an advanced galley and commercial-off-the-shelf computing equipment.

    The ship's mission in 7th Fleet will include maritime security operations and participation in cooperative training exercises with allies and partners in the region.

    The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.



    Date Taken: 10.19.2015
    Date Posted: 10.19.2015 03:54
    Story ID: 179243

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