The forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) returned to Yokosuka, Japan Dec. 21, concluding their successful deployment in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

The return of Milius marks the end of a three-month deployment during which the crew operated throughout the Philippine Sea and South China Sea.

“The team aboard USS Milius continues to amaze me every day,” said Cmdr. Matthew Hays, Milius’ commanding officer. “This most recent three-month deployment has wrapped up over six months at-sea this year, and Team Milius has delivered every time. Our continued interoperability with our regional Allies and partners has strengthened our relationships and supported our mission of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

In October, Milius participated in the joint maritime exercise Sama Sama-Lumbas along with forces from Australia, France, Japan, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom conducting multilateral operations to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance maritime interoperability.

In November, Milius along with the Indian Navy, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and the Royal Australian Navy, participated in Malabar 2022 conducting multilateral operations in surface, air, and subsurface training to further enhance and strengthen critical partnerships as well as demonstrating U.S. naval presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Throughout the deployment, Milius conducted maritime operations, live-fire events, flight operations, and replenishments-at-sea. “This crew showed resiliency and was always ready to answer the call whenever Milius was called upon,” said Lt. Darren Paraiso. “Glad to be a part of a winning team.”

During the deployment, Milius visited ports in Malaysia and Okinawa. During these visits, Sailors participated in community relations events which included volunteering at a school where Sailors spent time playing games and partaking in activities with children in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Sailors also had opportunities to experience the culture and see the beautiful landscape these ports had to offer.

Milius is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.