YOKOSUKA, Japan - Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) returned to Yokosuka May 16 after completing sea trials.
Sea trials is the testing phase of a U.S. Navy warship, conducted following an extended industrial restoration period, designed to measure a vessel’s performance and general seaworthiness.
During this three-day evolution, Stethem completed a drop test on its centerline anchor, conducted several seamanship and navigation emergency drills, pushed the propulsion plant to its design limits, and verified the readiness of all Combat Systems. Sea trials mark Stethem as fully mission ready and refocused on prompt and sustained combat operations-at-sea.
“Condensed into three days of non-stop drills, sea trials was an opportunity to prove ourselves and validate the results of the hard work and long hours of maintenance that we executed over the last four months,” said Cmdr. Christopher Adams, Stethem’s commanding officer. “It was a victory for the whole team.”
The weapons department had several teams that were assessed during sea trials. For example, CM division tested both mounts of the Close-In Weapons Systems after they had been overhauled during Selected Restricted Availability.
“It was exciting, but also nerve-racking firing our weapons. They are powerful, but they can also be very dangerous if they are not respected,” said Ensign Kristia Suriben, Stethem’s strike officer. “We took all the proper precautions, doing pre-fire checks, firing plans, and briefs before we completed the pre-active calibration fires. In the end, it was a success. We fired safely and the mounts are ready.”
The Seamanship and Navigation Training Team (SNTT) also demonstrated its proficiency scoring 98 points out of 100 in assessments conducted by the Afloat Training Group Western Pacific, recertifying in the navigation warfare area in three days.
“As always, Stethem paves the way for safe navigation. We’re ready for all waters and operations” said Quartermaster Chief Petty Officer Tyler Smith, a key member of Stethem’s SNTT.
The day after returning from sea trials, Stethem resumed pier side assessments. “This is all a part of making sure we are operationally ready and building confidence in ourselves and our equipment,” said. Adams. “With sea trials complete, we’re ready to get back out to sea and do the work of our nation.”
Stethem is part of Destroyer Squadron 15, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, to support security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.