The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) arrived in its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego after 25 years as a forward-deployed ship in Yokosuka Japan, Sept. 16. Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) directed Curtis Wilbur to return to San Diego for scheduled maintenance. Following routine repairs and upgrades, the ship will join U.S. 3rd Fleet, which leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. In the months leading up to the ship’s change in homeport, Curtis Wilbur deployed to the South China Sea and conducted anti-submarine warfare tasking, a bilateral exercise with the Royal Australian Navy, and freedom of navigation operations, including two transits of the Taiwan Strait.
“Following 25-plus years of service in the forward-deployed naval forces Japan, Curtis Wilbur, her crew, and our families are excited to arrive to our new homeport of San Diego,” said Cmdr. Anthony Massey, commanding officer of USS Curtis Wilbur. “We bring with us our ‘Steel Hammer’ professionalism and proud history of service and look forward to preparing for, and executing, operations in support of 3rd Fleet and the Indo-Pacific.”
CNSP is the most preeminent, combat-capable surface force in the world. Its mission is to build and deploy combat-ready ships with battle-minded crews capable of executing their mission and defending the nation’s interests at home and abroad. CNSP delivers and sustains the full spectrum of balanced, affordable, and resilient naval power through manpower, training, and equipment. As Commander, Naval Surface Forces (CNSF), CNSF leads Surface Warfare policy with a fleet-focused perspective and develops the professional expertise of surface warfare officers.
Curtis Wilbur was commissioned in 1994 and joined U.S. 7th Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan in September 1995, making it the longest forward-deployed naval asset in recent history. In its previous area of operations, Curtis Wilbur is known for forging and strengthening relationships with like-minded naval forces, as well as its demonstrated lethality in warfare exercises.With an advanced Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) suite as the mainstay of Curtis Wilbur’s capabilities, the ship will be a unique asset to U.S. 3rd Fleet. While Curtis Wilbur’s primary mission set provides defense against hostile ballistic missiles, the ship is also proficient in multiple warfare missions including anti-air, anti-submarine, anti-surface, and strike warfare. Curtis Wilbur’s capabilities are amplified by the training and readiness of the crew, many of which are veterans of the high operational tempo found in U.S. 7th Fleet.