USS Michael Murphy returns home to JBPHH

Master Chief Ben Pierson from Dallas, command master chief of the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), holds his son at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after a five-month deployment, June 13. Photo by MC2 Gabrielle Joyner

USS Michael Murphy Public Affairs

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) returned to its homeport Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam June 13 after a successful five-month deployment.

While deployed to the western Pacific under the U.S. 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 (HSM) 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.”

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) passes the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) in Pearl Harbor, June 13. Photo by MC2 Katarzyna Kobiljak

Michael Murphy began the deployment by conducting training as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group off the coast of Hawaii to improve readiness and cohesion as a strike group.

Michael Murphy then conducted an 18-day joint mission with the U.S. Coast Guard in the central and south Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) 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 Ocea -nia, through the South China Sea, and ended in the Sea of Japan as we strengthened our partnerships within the Indo- Asia-Pacific region,”

Heely said. “Team Murphy performed exceptionally well and led the fight each step of the way.”

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

Among the exercises was a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exercise. Sailors from ROK Gang Gam Chan (DDH 979) 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 (MWR) 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.”

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Category: News