YOKOSUKA, Japan – Secretary of Defense (SECDEF), the honorable Chuck Hagel visited the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) to meet with Sailors and observe the ship’s Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capabilities, Oct 4.
The crew demonstrated the BMD capabilities through a simulated scenario from the ship’s combat information center.
“The scenario was an excellent demonstration of the Aegis combat system in action defending America and its allies,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Ronald H. Barbee, radar systems watch stander of Stethem.
After the scenario, Hagel addressed Stethem’s crew. He specifically commented on the mission’s importance and encouraged steelworkers aboard the ship to have pride and purpose in all that they accomplish.
“You are shaping history. You are here where it matters most. You are the anchor and the cornerstone during these challenging times,” said Hagel.
Hagel also took the time to answer questions from Stethem Sailors during an all-hands call.
“It was pretty amazing to show what we do in front of the SECDEF,” said Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Andrew G. Montgomery, surface coordinator of Stethem. “We proved we can do any mission, especially BMD.”
Stethem is part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, to support security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.