The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka after completing a homeport change from San Diego, Calif., to join U.S. 7th Fleet. Photo by Taylor Curry/U.S. Navy
Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The USS Rafael Peralta arrived at its new forward deployed location in Yokosuka, Japan, on Thursday, the Navy announced.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer will support the Defense Strategic Guidance in the Indo-Pacific Region, allowing for the most rapid response times possible for maritime and joint forces, Navy officials said.
"We're thrilled to forward deploy another ship to Destroyer Squadron Fifteen and the 7th Fleet theater," Capt. Steven H. DeMoss, commodore of Destroyer Squadron Fifteen, said in a press release.
The Rafael Peralta is a Flight IIA destroyer that can deploy with two MH-60 variant helicopters and also has ballistic missile defense, anti-air and surface warfare capabilities.
"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," DeMoss said.
"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," he said.
Sailors and their family members will be expected to adhere to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Navy said.
The 7th Fleet employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, making it the Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet.
Earlier this week, the USS Nimitz joined the 7th Fleet after 270 days in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.