PEARL HARBOR - The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) returned to the ship's homeport of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Oct. 1 following a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.
Chung-Hoon operated in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility conducting operations supporting regional security and counter-terrorism as well as combating criminal maritime operations.
"We operated forward and worked with our foreign partners in various multi-national exercises improving warfighter skills across a broad range of mission sets and further strengthening our bonds," said Cmdr. Justin Orlich, commanding officer of Chung-Hoon. "Chung-Hoon Sailors have accomplished a great deal this deployment and have much to be proud of in service to our nation."
While underway Chung-Hoon participated in Pacific Bond 2013, which is a U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force maritime exercise designed to improve interoperability and further relations between nations.
"We did a lot of carrier support, independent operations, a lot of submarine hunting and a lot of training events. We got to do several things with different host nations, which was pretty awesome and we really got a lot of great experience for the ship and the aircraft alike," said Lt. Cmdr. Alapaki Gomes, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 37. "It was really active, probably the most I've done on deployment, yet I kept telling my younger guys that it's not usually this busy, it's not usually this back to back, everything that's going on, and just told them appreciate it while you got it. We're knocking it out off the park, it was really awesome to be a part of."
The ship also participated with the Royal Australian Navy in Talisma Saber 2013, a biennial training exercise aimed at improving Australian and U.S. combat readiness and interoperability.
"Chung-Hoon performed marvelously throughout their deployment," said Destroyer Squadron 31 Commodore, Capt. Wallace G. Lovely. "This team answered the call for mission support on time, every time,"
"Today is a really happy day for me, the USS Chung-Hoon is coming back, my husband, newly married, is coming home and I'm really excited to see him again," said Ammy Wilson-Rivera, Navy spouse. "My stomach is in knots, I haven't been able to sleep a lot and I just want to see him, I'm really excited."
"Today is a great day, the first time I had family come and visit me on deployment so it really made me feel really good when I came here and I saw my sisters and my niece on the pier. It's really hard for me to try to hold in the tears right now," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Mitch Ferdinand. "Deployment was fun, we hit a lot of ports but every day you get closer and closer to come home to your family, just made it amazing. I can't even speak right now, I'm just too excited."
Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare combatants that operate independently for the support of carriers and expeditionary and surface strike groups.
Chung-Hoon is named in honor of Hawaiian native Rear Adm. Gordon Pai'ea Chung-Hoon, recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star in World War II for conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of USS Sigsbee (DD 502) from May 1944 to Oct. 1945. She is assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, Destroyer Squadron 31.