An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Nov. 10, 2022

USS Higgins Returns to Yokosuka after a Successful Deployment

By Seaman Lillian Olen Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- The forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) returned to Yokosuka, Japan, Nov. 10 concluding a routine deployment.

Higgins’ return marks the end of a six-month patrol that began in May and took the ship and crew from the northern Pacific Ocean to the South China Sea and back.

"Our patrol this year was a great illustration of how much ground 7th Fleet covers and the disparate environments and challenges found throughout the area of operations,” said Cmdr. Joseph McGettigan, Higgins commanding officer. “We started back in May operating Northeast of Japan near the Kuril Islands, with fairly cold temperatures, and quickly found ourselves in the heat, crossing the equator south of Guam, a few weeks later. At the end of 6 months of operations, we have travelled all around the South China Sea and back to Japan again. I am very impressed with how well the crew operated as a team and really came together as a family to support each other throughout our time at sea."

In August, Higgins joined the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) conducting multi-lateral operation in support of Indo-Pacific deployments for JMSDF, RAN, and RCN in the South China Sea. The time with Allies and partners included a series of exercises such as live-fire events, flight operations, and several strait transits.

Higgins also participated in cooperative maritime exercise Pacific Vanguard (PACVAN) 2022 alongside maritime forces from RAN, JMSDF, and Republic of Korea Navy, conducting maritime operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, air warfare operations, live-fire missile events, and replenishment at sea.

“Working with other countries strengthened our international relations as a whole,” said Fire Controlman (Aegis) 2nd Class, Stephen Baugh, from Washington, D.C. “Coordinating with members of the Australian and Canadian navies showed us the technological and combatant advancement the U.S. as a whole is always striving to achieve; especially with our Allies.”

During the deployment, Higgins visited foreign ports to include Brunei, the Philippines and Thailand. During these visits, Higgins Sailors were able to participate in relationship building opportunities such as a community relations event at the Child Development and Protection Center in Pattaya, Thailand, and with “Lil Bravehearts,” an organization in Manila, Philippines devoted to caring for and supporting the families of children with Down syndrome. Sailors also explored and experienced the host country’s rich culture with the locals through Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) scheduled tours and events, and conducted ship tours-hosting distinguished visitors to include the Ambassador of the U.S. to Brunei, members of Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 9876, VFW Post 12146 and American Legion Post TH02.

Higgins is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th fleet’s principal surface force.

Higgins 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 numbered fleet in the world, and with the help of 35 other maritime-nation allies and partners, 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.


Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. and Indonesia Hold Inaugural Keris Marine Exercise in Lampung
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jonathan Wagner, the operations officer for Marine Rotational Force-Southeast Asia, I Marine Expeditionary Force, places an armband on Indonesian 1st Lt. Ketut Yoga Kosala, a platoon leader with 7th Infantry Battalion, 4th Marine Brigade, during the Keris Marine Exercise.
Nov. 22, 2022 - JAKARTA, U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Indonesia -- Marine forces from the U.S. Military and Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) are holding the Keris Marine Exercise (MAREX) from November 11-25, 2022, at Piabung training...

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting With Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Tea Banh
Nov. 22, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met today with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Tea Banh in...

Japan Provides Asset Protection for Australian and US Ships in Trilateral Exercise
The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), steams in formation with Royal Australian Navy supply ship, HMAS Stalwart (A304), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship, JS Setogiri (DD 156), in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 20. Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, and supports Alliances, partnerships and collective maritime interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
Nov. 22, 2022 - Japan -- The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has successfully provided asset protection for Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and United States Navy (USN) ships during an exercise in the seas off Japan.The trilateral...

Air Force Supports First Ever Army Warfighter Exercise in Indo-Pacific Focusing on Joint Large-scale Combat Operations
U.S. Air Force Airmen supported U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Army’s Mission Command Training Program Soldiers during the Army’s first warfighter exercise to take place in the Indo-Pacific theatre concentrating on joint large-scale combat operations contested in all domains, Sep. 30, 2022. The team led by 505th Command and Control Wing, Detachment 1 based at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with support from the 505th Combat Training Squadron and 505th Communications Squadron based at Hurlburt Field, Florida, delivered a doctrinally accurate air component to 1,150 Soldiers and Airmen representing the Army’s I Corps, 4th Infantry Division, and 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Fort Carson, Colorado, and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, along with the 1st Air Support Operations Group and 13th and 25th Air Support Operations Squadrons. (Security badges, papers and screens were blurred for security reasons) (U.S. Air Force photo by Shelton Keel)
Nov. 22, 2022 - U.S. Air Force Airmen supported U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Army’s Mission Command Training Program Soldiers during the Army’s first warfighter exercise to take place in the Indo-Pacific theatre concentrating on joint...

Carrier Strike Group 5 Concludes Keen Sword 23
Sailors assigned to the forward-deployed amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) approach an MV-22B Osprey helicopter to chock and chain it after it landed on flight deck while in the Philippine Sea during Keen Sword 23. Keen Sword is a joint, bilateral, biennial field-training exercise involving U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Force personnel, designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability and strengthen the ironclad Japan-U.S. alliance.
Nov. 21, 2022 - PHILIPPINE SEA -- Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 Sailors along with Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and Joint force U.S. military personnel, conclude Keen Sword 2023 (KS23), a biennial joint/bi-lateral field training exercise,...