The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) arrived Feb. 4, to its new forward deployed location in Yokosuka, Japan.

The forward presence of Rafael Peralta enhances the national security of the United States and allies and partners, and improves its ability to protect strategic interests. It will directly support the Defense Strategic Guidance to posture the most capable units forward in the Indo-Pacific Region.

The United States values Japan’s contributions to the peace, security and stability of the Indo-Pacific and its long-term commitment and hospitality in hosting U.S. forces forward deployed there. These forces, along with their counterparts in the Japan Self-Defense Forces, make up the core capabilities needed by the alliance to meet our common strategic objectives.

The security environment in the Indo-Pacific requires that the U.S. Navy station the most capable ships forward. This posture allows the most rapid response times possible for maritime and joint forces, and brings our most capable ships with the greatest amount of striking power and operational capability to bear in the timeliest manner.

“We’re thrilled to forward deploy another ship to Destroyer Squadron Fifteen and the 7th Fleet theater,” said Capt. Steven H. DeMoss, Commodore, Destroyer Squadron Fifteen.

Maintaining the most advanced ships as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) capability is vital and supports the United States’ commitment to the defense of Japan and the security and stability of the vital Indo-Pacific region.

Rafael Peralta, a Flight IIA destroyer that can deploy with 2 MH-60 variant helicopters and also has improved ballistic missile defense, anti-air and surface warfare capabilities compared to its predecessor, enhances the national security of the United States and improves its ability to protect strategic interests.

“Rafael Peralta is one of the newest, most capable ships in the Navy. With our security treaties and mutual defense treaties across the Indo-Pacific, it is imperative that we meet those requirements with the most capable platforms,” added Capt. DeMoss. “Ships like Rafael Peralta demonstrate our commitment to regional security and enable our partners and allies to uphold the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific.”

Sailors and their family members have all been briefed on the current Commander Naval Forces Japan COVID-19 mitigation measures and will all be expected to adhere to prevention protocols currently in place. These measures ensure the United States Navy is doing its part to stop the spread of the coronavirus and protect Sailors, their families and the local community.

As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. U.S. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

US 7th Fleet