PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) returned Thursday from a seven-month deployment to the western Pacific.
While on deployment, the ship and crew of nearly 280 Sailors conducted various theater security operations and goodwill activities with partner nations.
"This was the first deployment for nearly two-thirds of my crew. Their conduct ashore and performance in exercises and missions in a variety of warfare areas was as excellent as it was professional," said Cmdr. Linda Seymour, commanding officer.
"In the hard-hitting spirit of our namesake, USS Halsey made her mark as a reliable and agile partner to our sister ships and host nations in [U.S.] 7th Fleet," she said.
Detachment Three from the "Easyriders" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37 embarked aboard Halsey during the deployment and returned Feb. 3 to Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
The Easyriders flew 230 sorties, totaling more than 720 hours, with two SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopters in support of multi-national exercises and presence operations.
"We know we made a positive difference in the region, and the experience we gained is invaluable to all members of the detachment," said Lt. Cmdr. D. J. Wallace, officer in charge of Detachment Three.
"Our return to home port ends the final SH-60B deployment for HSM-37. Our feelings are bittersweet. As maintainers and pilots transition to the very capable MH-60R, we close out 25-plus years of sustained presence with the SH-60B in the [U.S.} 3rd and [U.S.} 7th Fleet areas of operation," Wallace said.
Halsey also participated in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), building partnerships to increase stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region and provided as an escort to both Carl Vinson and George Washington Strike Groups during Valiant Shield and Keen Sword exercises.
Halsey Sailors completed numerous community relations projects which included volunteering at animal shelters, local elementary schools and orphanages while finishing several park and public area cleanups to beautify the surrounding community.
Halsey is named for Fleet Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey, who was the first commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet. This ship is a multi-mission destroyer with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities; designed to operate independently or with an associated strike group.
Halsey is assigned to Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 aligned under Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific (MIDPAC) and U.S. 3rd Fleet. U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the eastern Pacific from the west coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.