USS STETHEM DDG 63
The Stethem (DDG 63) is the 13th ship of the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers and the sixth to be built by Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Construction of Stethem began at Ingalls on May 18, 1992, and the ship's keel was laid on May 11, 1993. It was launched on June 17, 1994, and was christened July 16 by Mrs. Patricia L. Stethem, mother of the ship's namesake, Steelworker 2nd Class Robert Dean Stethem, who was returning from an assignment in the Middle East, when he was taken hostage aboard TWA 847 commercial airliner. The flight was hijacked by terrorists, and Stethem was shot to death after being tortured by the terrorists on June 14, 1985. For his heroism, he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
October 21, 1995 USS Stethem was commissioned during a ceremony in Port Hueneme, Calif. The ship will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego.
On February 15, 1996, the Stethem successfully completed its Post Delivery Test and Trials, signifying her readiness for combat operations.
April 4, 1997 Cmdr. James O'Keefe III relieved Cmdr. Steven Miller as commanding officer of DDG 63.
USS Stethem sailed to the Arabian Gulf for its maiden overseas deployment in May and reported for duties in Bahrain on July 3. Over the course of the next three months, she served as primary Air Warfare Commander, Surface Warfare Commander, Ready Strike Platform, and LINK Coordinator. While fulfilling these multiple warfare roles, the Stethem provided support to both the Constellation and John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Battle Groups and U.S. Air Force aircraft engaged in Operation Southern Watch. She supported United Nations Security Council resolutions against Iraq, conducting 54 boardings and inspections of suspected sanctions violators. Stethem's first deployment included port visits to Singapore, Malaysia, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Fremantle and Sydney, Australia. USS Stethem returned to San Diego in Nov. 1997 to begin her second inter-deployment training cycle.
April 16, 1999 USS Stethem departed Naval Base San Diego for its second deployment to the Arabian Gulf as part of Middle East Force 99-2. After port visits to Guam, Saipan, Singapore, and Thailand, it reported for duty in the Gulf and quickly went to work conducting Freedom of Navigation Operations and Maritime Interception Operations. Over the course of her seventy-six days on station, Stethem served as Air Warfare Commander, Ready Strike Platform, and Force Over-the-Horizon Track Coordinator and also had the opportunity to support the USS Theodore Rosevelt (CVN 71) Battle Group as carrier escort and plane guard. After serving a second time as command ship for northern Arabian Gulf MIO, she transited the Strait of Hormuz on Aug. 13. After port visits to Fremantle and Port Kembla, Australia; and Suva, Fiji, the guided-missile destroyer returned home on October 4.
Following another sterling Command Assessment of Readiness and Training (CART II), the Stethem again set the standard by completing the Final Evaluation Period (FEP) during TSTA III. In mid-September and during a port visit in San Francisco, it was called out to sea by the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force West. The destroyer escorted fishing vessel Gran Tauro, caught with over five metric tons of uncut cocaine aboard - a net worth of over $500 million, to San Diego.
January 13, 2001 USS Stethem departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the Arabian Gulf as part of MEF 01-1. After a port visits to Hawaii, Guam, Singapore, and Thailand, the destroyer entered the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AoR) on Feb. 28. Over the course of her sixty-eight days on station in the Arabian Gulf, she conducted Maritime Interception Operations, served as Air Warfare Commander, supported Operation Southern Watch, served as a ready strike platform, and participated as a key player in two international naval exercises, Arabian Gauntlet and Neon Falcon. MIO resulted in the capture of motor vessel Diamond, the third largest arrest of an oil-smuggling sanctions violator since the Gulf War. She visited Oman; Singapore; Darwin and Cairns, Australia; American Somoa; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and returned to homeport on June 28.
After enjoying Post-Oversees Movement Stand-down, USS Stethem supported the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Battle Group during their Final Battle Problem as an opposing force. In early September, DDG 63 went through INSURV inspections and once again set the standard. Within hours after the terrorist attack in New York City and Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, the Stethem, already underway for INSURV, was called into station in support of Operation Noble Eagle and tasked with conducting air surveillance of the approaches to San Diego and providing air defense coverage to vital shipping assets.
On September 30, the Stethem commenced a nine-week Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA) at Southwest Marine and Continental Maritime Shipyards in San Diego.
October 30, The guided-missile destroyer departed the dry-dock and moved to Continental Maritime of San Diego shipyard.
Upon its return to Naval Station San Diego on Dec. 6, the Stethem marked the end of the 9.4 million dollar refurbishment and refitting period. the ship was underway the following week to begin working up for its next deployment; Returned to homeport on Dec. 14.
July 26, 2002 USS Stethem pulled into Port Hueneme, Calif., for a three-day port visit to participate in annual Seabee Days.
October 16, USS Stethem conducted Tomahawk Operational Test Launch (OTL) at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) western test range complex as part of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS) technical evaluation process.
In January 2003, the Stethem was underway in support of the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group (CSG)'s Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), as part of opposition forces.
February 5, USS Stethem arrived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for a goodwill port visit.
April 5, DDG 63 launched U. S. Navy’s new Tactival Tomahawk cruise missile that traveled 760 n.m. to the target impact site on San Clemente Island, part of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) sea test range off the coast of southern California. The event marked the first launch of the Block IV Tactical Tomahawk from an operational surface ship equipped with the TTWCS and marked the beginning of the final phase of government evaluation testing.
July 3, Cmdr. Charles F. Williams relieved Cmdr. David W. Melin, as commanding officer of USS Stethem. Melin was CO since Nov. 21, 2001. Foreign port visits during Melin’s tour included two trips to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and most recently, Victoria, British Columbia. Stateside port visits included Juneau, Alaska; and Seattle, Wash., for annual Seafair Festival.
September 26, USS Stethem pulled into Port Hueneme, Calif., for a three-day port visit to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Navy’s Seabee (Construction Battalion) community; Held an "Open House" from Sept. 27-28.
May 27, 2004 Raytheon Company’s Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile officially achieved initial operation capability (IOC) with the loading of the first missile aboard the Stethem.
June 11, USS Stethem recently pulled into Portland, Ore., to participate in the 97th annual Portland Rose Festival.
September 21, USS Stetham conducted Tomahawk OTL while underway off the coast of southern California, from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) sea ranges, that flew a fully-guided 674-nautical-mile land-attack mission. The test marked the first such use of a new Tomahawk block IV production missile. The first Production Verification Test was conducted at Naval Surface Warfare Center's Indian Head Division on Sept. 16. The new capabilities that Block IV Tomahawk brings to the Navy’s sea strike capability are derived from the missile’s two-way satellite data link that enables the missile to respond to changing battlefield conditions. The missile can be redirected to a new target and for the first time it can execute Global Positioning System (GPS) missions.
June 17, 2005 USS Stethem arrived in its new homeport of Fleet Activities Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
August 21, USS Stethem, along with USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), USS Gary (FFG 51), USNS Dahl (T-AKR 312), and M/V CPL. Louis J. Hauge Jr. (T-AK 3000), participated in integrated strike group operations, during last two weeks, including Joint Air Sea Exercise 2005 (JASEX ‘05).
October 24, DDG 63 departed Yokosuka for a routine Fall Patrol as part of the USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group.
November 24, The Stethem pulled into Hong Kong for a scheduled port visit after participating in Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 2005; Returned home on Dec. 6.
February 10, 2006 USS Stethem pulled into Nagasaki, Japan, for a scheduled port visit.
March 23, USS Stethem concluded a three-day Passing Exercise (PASSEX), in the western Pacific Ocean, with the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) CSG and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships: DS Harusame (DD 102), Hatakaze (DDG 171) and JDS Kirishima (DDG 174).
April 4, USS Stethem, commanded by Cmdr. Robert P. Gonzales, pulled into Akita, Japan, for a scheduled port visit. This is the first U.S. Navy ship to visit Akita in more than 30 years.
May 4, The Stethem and Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) are currently participating in a Multi-Sail 2006 as part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. Multi-Sail is an exercise that allows ships in the Forward Deployed Naval Force maximize their combat readiness level by participating in maneuvering exercises between ships and allows them to operate in a multi-ship environment.
June 8, DDG 63 is currently in dry-dock at Yokosuka Naval Shipyard for a three-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA); Undocked on June 21.
October 15, USS Stethem departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a routine Fall Patrol.
November 6, After a successful Counter Special Operations Forces Exercise (CSOFEX) 06, the Stethem joined the USS Essex (LHD 2) Amphibious Ready Group for Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2007, off the coast of the Philippines, from Oct. 16-31.
November 9, USS Stethem departed Sasebo, Japan, after a routine port call. The ship is currently off the coast of Japan participating in ANNUALEX, the largest billateral exercise between the U.S. Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.
November 30, The Stethem recently departed Hong Kong after a scheduled port visit.
December 12, Cmdr. Paul J. Lyons relieved Cmdr. Robert P. Gonzales as CO of the Stethem during a change-of-command ceremony at Naval Base Yokosuka.
January 30, 2007 USS Stethem is currently underway conducting flight deck qualifications off the coast of Japan.
February 12, DDG 63 returned to homeport after completing two weeks of regularly scheduled drills at sea. The ship recently visited Sapporo, Japan.
April 7, USS Stethem is currently participating in exercise Malabar 07-01, with the Indian Navy, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.
May 22, USS Stethem arrived in Quingdao, China, for a scheduled port visit. The ship recently departed for its Spring Patrol in the Pacific Ocean.
August 13, DDG 63 is currently participating in exercise Valiant Shield 2007 off the coast of Guam.
March 27, 2008 The guided-missile destroyer returned to Yokosuka after completing a routine underway period.
May 7, The Stethem arrived in Vladivostok, Russia, for a scheduled port call; Inport Busan, Republic of Korea, in mid-June.
February 9, 2009 USS Stethem is currently underway in the Gulf of Thailand, participating in exercise Cobra Gold 2009, as part of the Essex (LHD 2) ESG.
July 1, The Stethem arrived in Vladivostok, Russia, to celebrate the Vladivostok City Day and the U.S. Independence Day.
November 7, USS Stethem pulled into Hong Kong for a scheduled port visit.
December 11, Cmdr. Henry C. Adams relieved Cmdr. Shan M. Byrne as CO of the Stethem during a change-of-command ceremony at Harbor Master Pier.
April 16, 2010 DDG 63 completed its participation in Multi-Sail exercise off the coast of Okinawa.
May 28, USS Stethem is currently underway in the western Pacific Ocean, with the USS George Washington (CVN 73) CSG, to support security and stability in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
November 1, USS Stethem returned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka after a two-month Fall Patrol with the GW CSG.
November 11, The Stethem moored at Navy Pier, White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan, to participate in the 2010 White Beach Festival on Nov. 12. The arrival marks the first U.S. Navy ship visit during the festival in a decade.
November 28, USS Stethem is currently participating in a joint naval drils with the Republic of Korea naval forces, in the waters west of the Korean Peninsula, as part of USS George Washington CSG.
February 4, 2011 The guided-missile destroyer pulled into Hong Kong for a four-day port visit; Inport White Beach, Okinawa, from March 1-2; Brief stop in Sasebo on March 17.
March 18, DDG 63 anchored in Donghae Harbor, Republic of Korea, for a scheduled port visit before participating in annual exercise Foal Eagle.
March 28, USS Stethem moored at Berth 3, Juliet Basin Wharf in Fleet Activities Sasebo for a three-day port call; Participated in exercise Malabar 2011 with the Indian Navy, off the coast of Okinawa, from April 3-10; Returned to Yokosuka on April 10.
May 2, The Stethem entered the dry-dock at Yokosuka Naval Shipyard for a four-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA).
May 19, Cmdr. Michael B. DeVore relieved Cmdr. Henry C. Adams as CO of the USS Stethem during a change-of-command ceremony aboard the ship at CFAY.
November 20, USS Stethem arrived in Bali, Indonesia, for a scheduled port visit. The ship participated in a bilateral Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX), as part of the USS George Washington CSG, Oct. 27- Nov. 4.
November 27, The guided-missile destroyer anchored off the coast of Dili for a port visit to Timor-Leste.
January 29, 2012 DDG 63 is currently participating in Multi-Sail 2012 exercise off the coast of Okinawa.
February 3, USS Stethem returned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka after a two-week underway period.
March 22, USS Stethem departed homeport for a scheduled independent deployment in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AoR.
March 30, The Stethem anchored in Patong Bay for a port visit to Phuket, Thailand.
July 13, USS Stethem pulled into Khalifa bin Salman Port in Hidd, Bahrain, for a nine-day port call. Another visit to Bahrain in mid-August.
November 9, The guided-missile destroyer recently moored at Changi Naval Base in Singapore for a routine port call.
November 16, USS Stethem returned to Yokosuka, Japan, after an eight-month deployment. The ship traveled more than 34,000 n.m. and also made port call to Jebel Ali, U.A.E.
November 20, Cmdr. Christopher W. Adams relieved Cmdr. Michael B. DeVore as CO of the Stethem during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship.
From January 10-16, 2013, DDG 63 was underway for local operations and ammo offload at A-12 anchorage.
May 14, USS Stethem departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a two-day sea trials after a four-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA); Underway in support of emergent national tasking on May 20; Anchored at A-12 for ammo onload on May 25; Returned home on June 17; Anchored at A-12 again on Aug. 13.
August 19, USS Stethem departed homeport for a western Pacific patrol.
September 4, The guided-missile destroyer recently moored at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa for a routine port call. Returned home on Sept. 9.
May 20, 2014 Cmdr. John F. Bradford relieved Cmdr. Christopher W. Adams as the 13th CO of Stethem during a change-of-command ceremony on board the ship at Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
June 10, USS Stethem anchored at A-12 for ammo onload after a six-month Selected Restricted Availability (SRA); Underway for sea trials from June 21-23; Underway in support of emergent national tasking on June 25.
July 7, The Stethem participated in a photo exercise (PHOTOEX), with the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USS Kidd (DDG 100), while underway in the South China Sea. DDG 63 recently joined the USS George Washington CSG on Summer Patrol.
July 11, USS Stethem moored at Busan Naval Base, Republic of Korea, for a four-day port visit.
August 1, DDG 63 moored at Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, for a three-day port visit after participated in a trilateral exercise Malabar 2014, in the Philippine Sea, from July 26-30; Returned to Yokosuka on Aug. 7; Underway again on Aug. 14.
August 19, The Stethem moored at Navy Pier, White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan, for a brief port call before participating in a Ship Anti-Submarine Warfare Readiness and Evaluation Measurement (SHAREM) exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force; Returned to Yokosuka on Aug. 27; Underway for local operations from Aug. 30- Sept. 4.
September 8, USS Stethem departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a Fall Patrol as part of the GW CSG.
September 15, The guided-missile destroyer participated in the sinking exercise (SINKEX) of the ex-USS Fresno (LST 1182), 215 nautical miles northeast of Guam, as part of the biennial training exercise Valiant Shield 2014.
September 30, USS Stethem moored at Delta Wharf in Apra Harbor, Guam, for a brief port call to refuel.
October 2, The Stethem moored at Port of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, for a five-day port visit; Emergency sortied due to approaching Typhoon Vongfong on Oct. 4; Transited Surigao Strait southbound on Oct. 10.
October 12, DDG 63 moored at Rivera Wharf South in Subic Bay, Philippines, for a brief port call.
October 13, USS Stethem hit a 19-foot-long motorized fishing boat with a 5-foot long paddle boat in tow in waters off Kinabuksan, Zambales, while on its way out of Subic Bay with no "picket boat" as escort. Both boats were badly damaged and capsized as a result of the massive impact. The Stethem sailors saved three fisherman from possible drowning; Underway from Subic Bay on Oct. 15.
October 24, Capt. Shan M. Byrne, Commander, Destroyer Squadron (COMDESRON) 15 relieved of duty Cmdr. John Bradford due to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command." Capt. Christopher J. Sweeney, deputy commodore of DESRON 15, assumed temporary command of the Stethem.
October 27, The Stethem moored again at Delta Fueling Pier in Apra Harbor, Guam, for a two-day port visit; Participated in a bilateral exercise ANNNUALEX/Keen Sword, north off Okinawa, Japan, from Nov. 11-19.
November 21, USS Stethem returned to homeport after a 10-week patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AoR).
December 3, The Stethem departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka to participate in Ship Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) Readiness and Evaluation Measurement (SHAREM) exercise, from Dec. 8-12; Anchored at A-12 after conducted deck landing qualifications with two UH-60L, from U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan, on Dec. 14; Moored at Harbor Master Pier (HMP) West on Dec. 16.
January 14, 2015 USS Stethem entered the Dry Dock #4 at Yokosuka Naval Shipyard for Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA); Undocked and moored at Berth 8 on May 16; Underway for sea trials from June 22-26; Underway again on June 29; Anchored at A-12 for ammo onload on June 30; Moored at Berth 8 on July 1; Anchored at A-12 again from July 14-15; Underway again on July 22.
July 28, USS Stethem moored at Berth 25 in Port of Qingdao, People's Republic of China, for a two-day port visit; Participated in a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) with the PLA(N) Yantai (FFG 538) on July 30; Returned home on Aug. 3.
Sept. 4, The Stethem moored outboard the USS Mustin (DDG 89) at Harbor Master Pier (HMP) East after a two-day underway for INSURV preparations; Underway again from Sept. 8-9; Moved to Berth 6 on Sept. 11; Day-long underway on Sept. 22, 24 and 28th; Underway for local operations from Oct. 6-8, 22-23 and Oct. 26th; Underway for a Mid-Cycle Inspection (MCI) assessment with the Board of Inspection and Survey on Nov. 2.?
November 9, USS Stethem departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a western Pacific patrol.
November 13, The guided-missile destroyer moored at Berth 6, India Basin on Fleet Activities Sasebo for a brief stop.
November 16, USS Stethem moored at Wusong Naval Base in Shanghai, People's Republic of China, for a four-day port visit; Participated in a search-and-rescue exercise (SAREX) with the PLA(N) Xuzhou (FFG 530) on Nov. 20.
November 22, The Stethem joined the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) CSG, in the north Philippine Sea, for ANNUALEX 27G; Participated in a Photo Exercise (PHOTOEX) on Nov. 23; Returned to Yokosuka on Nov. 24; Underway again on Nov. 30; Moored outboard the USS Lassen (DDG 82) at HMP West on Dec. 4; Moved to Berth 3 on Jan. 5.
January 25, 2016 USS Stethem departed homeport in support of emergent national tasking; Moored at Berth 3 from Jan. 29-30; Returned to Yokosuka on Feb. 12.
February 18, USS Stethem anchored at A-10 for a brief stop to onload ammunition before underway for local operations; Moored at Berth 3 on Feb. 20; Moored at HMP East after a day-long underway in Sagami Wan on Feb. 26.
March 31, DDG 63 moored outboard the USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) at Berth 6, Fleet Activities Yokosuka after a three-day underway for local operations; Underway again on April 1; Moored at Berth 3 on April 4.
April 25, The Stethem departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a western Pacific patrol.
May 1, USS Stethem moored at Conventional Terminal in Port of Muara, Brunei, to participate in a multinational maritime security and counter-terrorism exercise ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM+); Underway for at-sea phase on May 5.
May 8, USS Stethem moored at Berth 8, Changi Naval Base in Singapore for a six-day port visit; Brief stop at Berth 5, Changi Naval Base on May 21; Transited the Strait of Malacca northbound from May 21-22.
May 23, The Stethem commenced a four-day Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise Guardian Sea, with the USS San Francisco (SSN 711), HTMS Chakri Naruebet (CVH 911), HTMS Naresuan (FF 421) and HTMS Taksin (FF 442), while underway south of Phuket; Transited the Strait of Johore eastbound on May 30.
June 4, USS Stethem participated in a multilateral training activity with the Malaysian Navy ships, while underway in the Sulu Sea, off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia, as part of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise.
June 8, The guided-missile destroyer moored at Alava Pier in Subic Bay for a three-day port visit after participated in at-sea phase of CARAT Philippines.
June 15, USS Stethem anchored off the coast of Sattahip to participate in CARAT Thailand; Underway for at-sea phase from June 19-21; Anchored off Sattahip again from June 21-23; Inport Sasebo, Japan, from June 28-29.?
July 14, DDG 63 moored at Berth 8, Changi Naval Base for a scheduled port visit to participate in CARAT Singapore; Underway for at-sea phase from July 22-27; Moored at Berth 6, Changi Naval Base from July 27-29.
August 4, USS Stethem moored at East Arm Wharf in Darwin, Australia, for a three-day port visit; Transited the Torres Strait eastbound on Aug. 9.
August 14, The Stethem moored at Fleet Base East Berth 1, Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney, Australia, for a five-day port visit; Inport Apra Harbor, Guam, from Aug. 29-Sept. ?.
September 10, USS Stethem moored at Berth 1, Sierra Wharf in Apra Harbor for a brief port call before participating in a biennial field training exercise Valiant Shield 2016, as part of the USS Ronald Reagan CSG-5; Moored outboard the USS Benfold (DDG 65) at Sierra 1 Wharf in Apra Harbor from Sept. 24-29.
October 7, The Stethem made a brief stop off White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan.
October 16, USS Stethem moored at Berth 6 in Busan Naval Base, Republic of Korea, for a five-day port visit after participated in a bilateral training exercise Invincible Spirit.