By Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs – PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM – Guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG 77) will return to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Nov. 8 after a seven-and-a-half month deployment to the Western Pacific and the 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The Hawaii-homeported ship is commanded by Cmdr. Michael Ray.
Reflecting on the deployment, Ray said, “The diversity of tasking was remarkable. We bounced from carrier escort to missile defense tasking to maritime security – all in the same week. This helped make the deployment go by quickly, even though it was nearly eight months long.”
O’Kane participated in a variety of warfare exercises, including two Joint Air Defense Exercises and multiple missions with various carrier strike groups.
The O’Kane flight deck crew was voted the best supporting crew by the “Desert Ducks” helicopter detachment out of Bahrain, said Ray.
The O’Kane crew participated in several community relations projects in Singapore, Bahrain and Thailand.
“The crew’s interaction with the local populations in the Middle East and in Southeast Asia helped to reinforce the very best images of American culture and the U.S. Navy,” Ray said.
O’Kane deployed under the Middle Pacific Surface Combatant (MPSC) deployment concept in which Pearl Harbor-based ships are ready to deploy forward in support of operations primarily in the Western Pacific under Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. O’Kane left for its deployment from Hawaii on March 23, 2012.
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.