USS Chafee (DDG 90) returned home to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, completing an eight-month deployment with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 to U.S. 7th and 3rd Fleets, Feb. 19.
Chafee departed Pearl Harbor en route to U.S. 7th Fleet June 28, 2021. The destroyer served as an escort for the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), in addition to Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ESX ARG). Chafee also served as a primary deployed force for Commander Task Force (CTF) 71 in the 7th Fleet area of operations (AO). The ship executed a variety of high-level operations alongside multinational alliances and partnerships to include quad-carrier operations with the British Royal Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Carl Vinson and Ronald Reagan, and bilateral exercises with the JMSDF and the Republic of Singapore Navy. Additionally, Chafee participated in several large-scale exercises such as the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s joint training exercise and Large Scale Exercise 2021.
“I am in awe of what this team has, and continues, to accomplish for each other and our Nation,” said Cmdr. Shane Dennis, commanding officer of USS Chafee. “Whenever more is asked, they answer the call collectively to complete the mission with precision regardless of the hardships faced.”
Chafee deployed with “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 Combat Element 2 Air Detachment during her 7th Fleet deployment. HSM 78 embarked May of 2021 and stayed with the ship until Chafee’s return home. During their time aboard, HSM 78.2 conducted 610 deck landing qualifications and flew over 900 hours, upholding their certifications and increasing Chafee’s ability to utilize all available sensors and systems to safely navigate and build and maintain a recognized maritime picture for fleet and national decision makers.
In order to remain constantly combat ready, Chafee conducted over 40 underway replenishments. Operating weekly with Commander Task Force (CTF) 73 to conduct replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with nine different Military Sealift Command ships, one bilateral fueling-at-sea (FAS) with Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Sirius (O 266), and three FAS evolutions with CVN 70.
Over the past eight months, Chafee was hard at work progressing with qualifications and the professional development of both officers and enlisted sailors. Overall, nine officers earned their Officer of the Deck (OOD) letters and the U.S. Navy gained eight new Surface Warfare Officers, 64 Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists, and 46 Enlisted Air Warfare Specialists.
While in U.S. 7th fleet, Chafee conducted sustained presence operations in support of U.S. strategic and operational objectives, overall increasing regional maritime security and ensuring the high seas remain open to all international parties to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
An integral part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary to flawlessly execute our Navy’s role across the full spectrum of military operations—from combat operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. 3rd Fleet works together with our allies and partners to advance freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and other principles that underpin security for the Indo-Pacific region.