John Finn transits the Panama Canal

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) transits the Panama Canal during its maiden voyage to its homeport of San Diego, June 13. Photo by Lt. Chase Allvord

Lt. Tyler Barker

USS John Finn (DDG 113) Public Affairs

Two weeks into its maiden voyage across the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, the Ar-leigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) has visited three nations and demonstrated proficiency in a variety of warfare areas as the crew sails to its homeport of San Diego.

Part of U.S. 3rd Fleet and U.S. Naval Surface Forces, John Finn was placed in commission on June 2 and is scheduled to have a commissioning ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, July 15.

Launched March 28, 2015, and christened May 2, 2015, John Finn sailed away from In-galls Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, June 2. As the 63rd Arleigh Burke-class guided missile-destroyer, John Finn boasts an array of advancements and capabilities that further amplify the importance of the “Greyhounds of the Fleet.”

As the Navy’s first dedicated new construction Aegis Weapons System Baseline 9 platform, John Finn will be able to respond to a multitude of threats and provide Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 5.0 and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA). Deployable worldwide, it will become an invaluable asset in our nation’s repertoire, capable of responding to any threat, anywhere, at any time.

Two days after leaving Mississippi, the ship held its first steel beach picnic, followed by a brief stop in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for fuel. After Cuba, John Finn called on Cartagena, Colombia, for its first official port visit, where the crew enjoyed amenities offered by the local nationals.

On June 9, Rear Adm. Sean Buck, Commander, U.S. 4th Fleet, toured the ship, welcoming the crew to the area of operations.

The following evening, the crew hosted Colombian naval officers and midshipmen, continuing to strengthen the long-standing partnership between the United States and Colombia.

Shortly after departing Cartagena, John Finn continued its westward journey, linking up with a sister ship, USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), to travel through the Panama Canal, June 13. Rafael Peralta was built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and like John Finn, is sailing west to its homeport of San Diego.

The two ships are part of the Flight IIA restart initiative, and together were able to practice communications, maneuvering, and camaraderie during their transit.

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Category: News