YOKOSUKA, Japan -- The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) returned to Yokosuka, Nov. 19, following a six-month deployment across the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
Shiloh, along with the embarked "Saberhawks" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77, departed Yokosuka in May. They conducted passing exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) in May and June. Along with the Navy's only forward-deployed Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the ship transited through the Strait of Malacca on June 18 and participated in joint, simultaneous multi-domain operations with the Indian Navy and Air Force from June 23-24, marking the first naval integration event off the west coast of India since MALABAR 2020.
On the 2021 deployment, the carrier strike group included the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, and embarked staffs of Task Force 70 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97).
The carrier strike group executed integrated at-sea operations alongside the United Kingdom's HMS Queen Elizabeth (R 08) Strike Group, as well as the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (IWOARG) and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, in the Gulf of Aden, July 12. The strike group also participated in several interoperability and bilateral events, to include operations with the French Navy Aquitaine-class frigate FS Languedoc (D 653), Pakistan Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate PNS Alamgir (F 260), and German Navy Brandenburg-class frigate FGS Bayern (F 217).
Shiloh served as a primary escort to USS Ronald Reagan while CVW 5 provided airpower to protect U.S. and coalition forces as they conducted drawdown operations from Afghanistan.
"Through a variety of demands and expectations, Shiloh remained a flexible force, exceeding operational expectations where needed, while on carrier escort duties," said Capt. Adam G. Cheatham, Shiloh's commanding officer. "The crew answered the call, persistent in their support of Operations Freedom's Sentinel and Allies Refuge during the final days of the war in Afghanistan. This was a unique and historic mission for Shiloh, and the courageous crew consistently delivered success, night and day, displaying our Navy's core values on the world stage. Shiloh's crew never backed down from adversity and worked together to go above and beyond completing the mission."
While deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, Shiloh conducted numerous Strait of Hormuz transits, supporting a continued commitment to region and partner nations. Shiloh's crew conducted a port visit July 23 to Bahrain, the first port visit for Shiloh in over 2 years. The successful port visit of Shiloh, along with Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), demonstrated the capability of the United States Navy to conduct safe international port visits.
"Under Capt. Sharif Calfee's direction, the crew and leadership of Shiloh proved themselves to be great ambassadors on the global stage, even after two years without any port visits," said Cheatham. "Shiloh set the textbook example of a successful visit, further strengthening the maritime partnership of willing nations with a common purpose aligned."
On Sept. 17, the strike group returned to U.S. 7th Fleet from the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
Prior to returning to Yokosuka; Shiloh, Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group joined with United Kingdom's HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) CSG 21 and JMSDF ships led by Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) for multiple carrier operations in the Philippine Sea; bringing together 17 ships from six nations and more than 15,000 Sailors. The purpose of the integration was to demonstrate capabilities in multi-domain operations, U.S. dedication to regional stability, and highlight the U.S. Navy's enduring power-projection capability.
Shiloh held a change of command ceremony on Oct. 18 during a port visit to Yokosuka. Capt. Adam G. Cheatham relieved Capt. Sharif H. Calfee as the commanding officer. On Oct. 20, Shiloh resumed operations in 7th Fleet with the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1. CSG 1 conducted operations in the South China Sea, and Shiloh escorted Carl Vinson through multiple archipelagic straits, further enhancing interoperability through alliances and partnerships while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
"Shiloh's perseverance and success in both 5th and 7th fleets is a testament to the combat readiness, effective training, and the high standards we maintain and pride ourselves on," said Cmdr. Benjamin McCarty, the executive officer of Shiloh. "Throughout this deployment, the comradery of the ship was a testament to Shiloh's resiliency; for each individual and as a unit. The professionalism of the crew continues, whether in-port or underway, and we will continue to maintain warfighting readiness through consistent high-end warfighting exercises and unit-level training."
USS Shiloh is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the world, and with the help of and network of alliances and partners from 35 other maritime nations, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years; providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.