NORFOLK (NNS) -- Guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) departed its Norfolk homeport of more than 20 years bound for Yokosuka, Japan, and the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) of the U.S. 7th Fleet, Jan. 12.
Commanding Officer Jennifer Eaton and more than 300 Sailors will journey through the Panama Canal and across the world's largest ocean in support of the national defense strategy and international relations.
"We look forward to the voyage ahead, and are ready for any challenge that comes our way," said Eaton. "Being forward deployed to Japan is an incredible honor for every Barry Sailor and their family. It gives us an opportunity to represent the United States across the globe."
For the past year, the crew has been preparing for this move and the busy operational tempo they expect in 7th Fleet by completing a rigorous Basic Phase of training, certification and the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The Arleigh Burke-class ship features the Baseline 9.C, the Navy's newest Aegis combat system. Barry's presence will provide an increased operational capacity to respond to global crises and support America's national defense goals through cooperation with allied nations. Barry Sailors will conduct missions and patrols that encourage dialogue, ensure freedom of the seas, and promote strength and diversity.
As an FDNF crew, Sailors aboard Barry will have many training opportunities. They expect to interact with other navies during exercises, which will offer experiences that will benefit them throughout their careers. Port visits will give Sailors the chance to experience different cultures, improve international relations, and create friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
When asked what she is most looking forward to in Japan, Lt. Emily Reynolds, one of Barry's newest Sailors, stated, "Being at the tip of the spear on one of the most advanced U.S. Naval Warships!"
Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher Arizmendi, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Dylan Lund, and Fire Controlman 3rd Class James Slaughter all want to visit historical sites and take in the culture, but said they are most excited about sampling the food.
Barry will replace guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82), which recently departed Japan after 10 years of forward-deployed duty. After completing her last patrol in the Western Pacific this summer, Lassen will arrive in Mayport, Florida, her new homeport.