PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- The guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77) returned to its homeport, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, June 4, after a seven-month Western Pacific deployment.
O’Kane departed Pearl Harbor, Nov. 4, to conduct ballistic missile defense operations near the American territory of Guam.
O’Kane remained on station for the majority of deployment, meeting mission requirements and providing protection for American citizens.
“I am extremely proud of the O’Kane Sailors,” said Cmdr. Jason L. Tumlinson, O’Kane’s commanding officer. “Their hard work and perseverance enabled the ship to complete all tasks safely and with distinction. I am honored to serve with them.”
While on deployment, O’Kane conducted 24 successful underway replenishments-at-sea, more than 30 helicopter landing operations in support of Guam’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25, and completed 22 small-boat operations for logistics and personnel transfers critical to remaining on station.
Additionally, O’Kane supported at-sea operations with Mark VI patrol boats from Costal Riverine Group 1 with the aim of enhancing Mark VI capabilities. The operations conclusively furthered efforts by integrating blue and brown-water operations.
O’Kane made several port calls during deployment, visiting Guam, Saipan, and Yokosuka, Japan. While in port, crew members volunteered for beach clean-up events and participated in Morale, Welfare and Recreation trips, expanding their cultural knowledge of the local areas and serving the local community.
“This deployment was challenging in a lot of different ways,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Chase Harrison. “We spent a lot of time at sea, but I feel that the crew believed in the mission and bonded together when the days seemed to go on.”
As O’Kane steamed home, Sailors are looking forward to returning to their homes and families.
“It really is going to feel strange when we return to Hawaii and to a more normal schedule,” said Harrison. “I know the crew is looking forward to some post-deployment leave and I think that it will be the perfect way to recover and get ready for the coming months.”
O’Kane’s conclusion of this independent Western Pacific deployment marks the seventh major deployment in nearly 19 years of commissioned service.