The Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Sterett has arrived in Zhanjiang, China, for a scheduled port visit.
Sterett’s visit is the first US Navy visit to Zhanjiang since 2015 and the first US Navy visit to mainland China in 2017.
Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, Sterett’s commanding officer said in a press release:
“This visit is an exciting opportunity to promote maritime cooperation and reinforce a navy-to-navy relationship with our People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) counterparts.”
During the course of the port visit, Sailors will conduct sporting events, ship tours, and a community relations event, along with leadership office calls and receptions with the PLA(N).
Sterett is part of the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (Sterett-Dewey SAG) and arrived with the embarked command staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 and an embarked helicopter detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49.
Capt. David Bretz, DESRON 31’s commodore said in a statement to the press:
“My staff, the Sterett crew and I are excited to be here and enjoy this port visit in Zhanjiang. Professional engagement with regional navies allows us the opportunity to build upon our existing relationships, as well as learn from each other.”
The Sterett-Dewey SAG is reportedly operating with regional naval services to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability in the Western Pacific.