By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (EXW) Donald W. Randall, Navy Region Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Guided-missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a deployment in the western Pacific March 23.
The crew of more than 250 Sailors plans to conduct integrated operations in conjunction with coalition partners deployed to the Western Pacific.
"O'Kane has prepared for this deployment for more than a year, and we are returning to a theater we know well," said O'Kane Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Michael Ray. "The unique capabilities of this ship afford us the opportunity to make a real contribution to the peace and security of that region. I am extremely proud of the crew for the work they have done to prepare for this day and feel honored to stand beside them as we head over the horizon."
O'Kane, is deployed under the Middle Pacific Surface Combatant (MPSC) deployment concept in which Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam based ships deploy in support of operations primarily in the western Pacific under Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.
"I am really excited about all of our port visits because I have been to none of them before," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Donovan Nuusolia. "My goals for this deployment are to get my surface warfare pin and make rank."
Nuusolia's wife, Lynne Nuusolia, and their children were pierside to see him off.
"I plan to keep my kids healthy and be both mom and dad, said Lynne. "I want to take care of everything so he has nothing to worry about and can concentrate on his objectives."
Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants. They operate independently for support of carrier and expeditionary strike groups and surface strike groups.