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Guided Missile Destroyer USS Sterett Makes Chinese Port Visit

Sailors aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG-104) man the rails as the ship arrives in Zhanjiang, China on June 12, 2017. US Navy Photo

A U.S. guided missile destroyer has pulled into southern China as part of a planned port visit with the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

USS Sterett (DDG-104) pulled into Zhanjiang, the headquarters of the South Sea Fleet, on Monday for the port visit and low level interactions with the PLAN, according to a release from U.S. 3rd Fleet.

“During the course of the port visit, sailors will conduct sporting events, ship tours, and a community relations event, along with leadership office calls and receptions with the PLAN,” read the statement.

Sterett’s post visit is the first visit of a U.S. ship to Zhanjiang since 2015 and the first port visit by a U.S. ship to a mainland Chinese port this year.

“This visit is an exciting opportunity to promote maritime cooperation and reinforce a navy-to-navy relationship with our People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA(N) counterparts,” said Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, Sterett’s commanding officer said on Monday.

The visit comes as the U.S. has stepped up its patrols of the South China Sea and resumed a schedule of testing Chinese maritime claims around its network of its militarized artificial islands through Freedom of Navigation operations.

Last month USS Dewey (DDG-105) – which is operating with Sterett as part of a two-ship surface action group out of Naval Station San Diego, Calif. – came within six nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the first FON op of the Trump administration.

In addition to the port visit and the FON op, the surface action group has also participated in several regional exercises in the last few months.

USS Sterett (DDG 104) participates in a straits transit exercise on May 23, 2014. US Navy Photo

The following is the complete June 12, 2017 statement on Sterett’s visit to Zhanjiang.

ZHANJIANG, China – Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) arrived in Zhanjiang, China, June 12, 2017, for a scheduled port visit.

Sterett’s visit is the first U.S. Navy visit to Zhanjiang since 2015 and the first U.S. Navy visit to mainland China in 2017.

“This visit is an exciting opportunity to promote maritime cooperation and reinforce a navy-to-navy relationship with our People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA(N) counterparts,” said Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, Sterett’s commanding officer.

During the course of the port visit, Sailors will conduct sporting events, ship tours, and a community relations event, along with leadership office calls and receptions with the PLA(N).

Sterett is part of the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (Sterett-Dewey SAG) and arrived with the embarked command staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 and an embarked helicopter detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49.

“My staff, the Sterett crew and I are excited to be here and enjoy this port visit in Zhanjiang. Professional engagement with regional navies allows us the opportunity to build upon our existing relationships, as well as learn from each other,” said Capt. David Bretz, DESRON 31’s commodore.

The Sterett-Dewey SAG is operating with regional naval services to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability in the Western Pacific.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy, constantly coordinating with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the Pacific theater of operations.

 

 

 

  • muzzleloader

    It would be a hoot if after this liberty is over, the Sterett proceeds to the Spratleys to conduct a full systems active Fonops lol.

    • Zephon

      Remind yourself of how the US Navy fully supported the return of the Spratly and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea Archipelago. Many sailors and Marine’s died to return those Islands to China. In fact the US Navy helped man a Radar Station on Spratly’s Taiping Island under a Chinese flag after WWII. And the US Navy helped transfer material, personnel to those islands as well as arming the Chinese to defend them after WWII.

      These islands were formally returned to China in the Treaty of Taipei (Sino Japanese Peace Treaty) and Japan’s surrender agreements.

      Don’t believe the crap from the Hillary Clinton/Obama/Kurt Campbell state dept turn against China in their pivot of 2010.

  • publius_maximus_III

    It’s a DDG-51 Flight II-A. Good, they can’t sleuth all our latest stuff.

    We should be sending the intimidating LCS fleet, like the USS Gabby Giffords, to make such touchy-feely port calls instead. Or would that be considered an insult by the PLAN?

    • muzzleloader

      How about offloading the entire lot of LCS’s to the Chicoms for a fair price? I bet President Trump could wangle a good deal, lol

      • publius_maximus_III

        Trump: “Listen, we’ll take $100… make that $82K apiece for the lot, and even include a new set of floor mats with each one. We’ll throw in that TMALS gizmo, too. We’re going back to steam.”

  • Kim Chul Soo

    This is beyond disgusting, thinking we will positively influence these red chinese SOB’s. Make sure you PC yaps in charge of this fiasco give them the keys to the place.

  • RobM1981

    Shouldn’t the headline read “visits a Chinese port? ”

    “Makes Chinese port visit, “sounds as if it entered the harbor backwards, docked, then all of the sailors disembarked, ran around the pier, reboarded, and then they left …

  • publius_maximus_III

    USS Sterett
    Forever Dauntless

    CDR Claudine Caluori
    Commanding Officer

    CDR Caluori graduated from Colorado State University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Recreation Resources Management. She then served as an Instructor for the Colorado Outward Bound School from 1993 through 1998. She earned her commission through Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL in 1999.

    Her sea tours include Electronic Repair Officer in USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6); Navigator in USS NORMANDY (CG 60); Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer in USS SAMPSON (DDG 102). She most recently served as Executive Officer in USS STERETT (DDG 104).

    Ashore she served as Flag Secretary for Commander Naval Forces Europe, Commander Naval Forces Africa, and Commander SIXTH Fleet; Executive Assistant to Commander Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; and Littoral Combat Ships Requirements Officer (OPNAV N96E1B), Surface Warfare Directorate, on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.

    CDR Caluori holds a Master of Arts Degree in National Security Affairs from Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA.

    She has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy Achievement Medal, as well as various other unit and service awards.

  • John B. Morgen

    I would stop making anymore Chinese port visits by our warships, until China has tamed the North Korean shrew from test firing anymore missiles.

    • Geoffrey Laxton

      I’ll be blunt. Diplomacy is a form of warfare too.

      • John B. Morgen

        I’ll be blunt too. Diplomacy warfare doesn’t always work!

  • Zephon

    Port visits of Chinese and American naval vessels is an important part of our new age of an integrated world.

    Let China take leadership in management of hostilities of their region and work with them for the peace and prosperity there.

    This will only happen through cooperation and understanding of our Navies.