USS McCampbell slated to return to Japan

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The destroyer McCampbell is slated to return back to Yokosuka, Japan, and replace the cruiser Antietam as part of a “scheduled rotation of forces” in the region, according to the Navy.

The warship is set to join Destroyer Squadron 15, the Navy’s largest destroyer squadron, upon arrival to Yokosuka. There, the ship will work alongside the Japan Self-Defense Forces and other U.S. forces in the country to support peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

Arleigh-Burke class destroyers are designed to accompany aircraft carriers as part of a strike group, and are outfitted with the Aegis Combat System, which includes anti-submarine warfare systems and long-range Tomahawk missiles.

“The forward presence of McCampbell enhances the national security of the United States and improves its ability to protect strategic interests,” the Navy said in a news release Wednesday. “It will directly support the Defense Strategic Guidance to posture the most capable units forward in the Indo-Pacific Region.”

The McCampbell, previously based in Japan for 13 years, returned to Portland, Oregon, in 2020 for intensive maintenance and has been based in Everett, Washington, since 2022.

The Antietam, based in Yokosuka since 2013, will move its home port to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The shift comes as the Navy is expected to move the aircraft carrier George Washington to Yokosuka as the Navy’s only forward-deployed carrier this year — replacing fellow carrier Ronald Reagan.

Yokosuka previously hosted the George Washington from 2008 to 2015, before the carrier headed into its midlife refueling and complex overhaul maintenance in 2017 in Virginia.

The Reagan, which joined U.S. 7th Fleet in 2015, will head to Bremerton, Washington, for maintenance work, according to U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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