USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), the fourth Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, was commissioned on 19 March 1994 in Long Beach, CA.
During the summer of 1994 Curtis Wilbur participated in RIMPAC '94 as Force Air Defense Coordinator.
USS Curtis Wilbur embarked on her maiden Deployment in July 1995 and supported Operations Southern Watch and Vigilant Sentinel in many different roles. Curtis Wilbur also served as a member of the United States Fifth Fleet Expeditionary Task Force supporting United Nations sanctions against Iraq. In 1996, Curtis Wilbur became part of the United States Seventh Fleet, shifting homeports from San Diego to Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. In 1997 she deployed with the Independence Battle Group and participated in exercises Tandem Thrust '97 and Cobra Gold. Curtis Wilbur also participated in numerous Seventh Fleet Exercises, including Javelin Maker, Missilex 97-4, Aswex 97-6JA, Harmex 97-2, Annualex 09G, and Comptuex. Curtis Wilbur was selected as the Destroyer Squadron Fifteen Battle Efficiency Winner for 1997.
In January 1998, Curtis Wilbur participated in Sharem 108-1 before deploying again, on short notice, to the South Pacific. During this deployment, Curtis Wilbur visited ports in Singapore, Australia, Guam, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. She also participated in Merlion '98 and the Shimoda Black Ship Festival. Curtis Wilbur also participated in Exercise FOAL Eagle ‘98 with the Republic of Korea Navy and completed successful Cruise Missile Tactical and Naval Surface Fire Support qualifications. Curtis Wilbur participated in Sharem 127 with the Korean Navy and deployed in March 1999 with the Kitty Hawk Battle Group. After completing Tandem Thrust ’99, Curtis Wilbur received immediate tasking to proceed to the Persian Gulf, arriving in April 1999. Curtis Wilbur commenced operations in support of Operation Southern Watch; enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone over Iraq and supporting United Nations Sanctions against Iraq by conducting Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) as a member of Fifth Fleet.
On 1 October 2001, Curtis Wilbur again departed Yokosuka on a deployment. Assigned to the Kitty Hawk Strike Group, she conducted operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Persian Gulf. In early February 2002, Curtis Wilbur participated in Missilex '02, an anti-ship missile defense training evolution. In August 2004 Curtis Wilbur entered the port of Da Nang, Vietnam (the first since 1976) in a relationship building port stay.
In March 2011, in company with the carrier Ronald Reagan, the ship was deployed off northeastern Honshu, Japan to assist with relief efforts after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in support of Operation Tomodachi.
USS CURTIS WILBUR (DDG 54) is forward deployed to the Western Pacific Ocean and homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. One of seven ships in Destroyer Squadron FIFTEEN, "Steel Hammer" is part of Battle Force SEVENTH Fleet, the Navy's only permanently forward deployed naval forces.