PAC SAG Reunites in South China Sea
PAC SAG Reunites in South China Sea
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C.
Pugh, Navy Public Affairs Support Element.
South China Sea — (NNS) — June 27, 2016 — Participating units of a U.S.
3rd Fleet Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG) reunited while on routine
patrol in the South China Sea, June 27 after conducting nearly three months of
theater security operations in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile
destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) (front) steams in formation with USS Decatur
(DDG 73) and USS Momsen (DDG 92). Spruance, along with guided-missile destroyers
USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Decatur (DDG 73), and embarked "Devil Fish" and "Warbirds"
detachments of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, deployed as part of
a U.S. 3rd Fleet Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG) under Destroyer Squadron
Guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111), USS Momsen (DDG 92), and
USS Decatur (DDG 73), with embarked Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 31 staff, deployed
to the Western Pacific and South China Sea since departing the waters of
Southern California in April.
"This Surface Action Group continues to operate effectively throughout the
Pacific and across the spectrum of missions they have been assigned," said Vice
Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. "Their deployment is an important
part of the '3rd Fleet Forward' concept and we are proud of their performance
For the past three months, Momsen and Decatur conducted several bilateral
exercises with the Republic of Korea, France and Japan which highlighted
numerous evolutions to include anti-submarine warfare, maneuvering drills,
gunnery exercises and visit, board, search and seizure subject matter expert
exchanges. They also had the opportunity to engage with U.S. Air Force and U.S.
Marine Corps air assets in small force events.
"For years the Navy has maintained a steadfast presence in the Pacific Fleet
and this SAG is proving to be a valuable asset for stability and relations with
our partner nations," said Capt. Charles Johnson, commander, Destroyer Squadron
31. "Through these exercises and security operations we have already begun to
enhance our relationships and strategic coordination with our Pacific partners;
Spruance participated in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) in
the South China Sea. OMSI is a Secretary of Defense program leveraging
Department of Defense assets transiting the region to increase the Coast Guard's
maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting its maritime law enforcement
operations in Oceania.
"OMSI demonstrates the ability to partner with not only military agencies,
but local agencies," said Cmdr. Manuel Hernandez, commanding officer, USS
Spruance. "The ability to leverage the unique capacity and capabilities of the
U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and their experience in law enforcement, [U.S.
Defense Attache Office], Foreign Fisheries Agency, and our partner nations in
the area in support of the security and stability, and therefore the prosperity
of the Asia-Pacific region is incredible."
The PAC SAG deployment also emphasized cultural exchanges in the Pacific with
10 community service projects held during five separate port calls.
"Community service is important because it provides an opportunity for our
Sailors to give back to the communities that host us as we accomplish our
mission," said Lt. Cmdr. Glenn Flemming, CDS-31 chaplain. "Community service
also provides a venue for us to come alongside our partners to jointly and
positively impact the people of our host nations. Our Sailors engaging people
around the world in positive efforts will leave a lasting and impact long after
we have gone back to sea."
The U.S. Navy maintains a presence in the Indo Asia-Pacific region to help
preserve peace and security and to further partnerships with friends and allies.
The forward presence contributes to freedom of navigation and lawful use of the
sea, as well as furthers operational training and enables an exchange of
culture, skills, and tactical knowledge.
Under the operational control of U.S. 3rd Fleet, the PAC SAG conducts routine
patrols, maritime security operations, and theater cooperation activities to
enhance regional security and stability.
U.S. 3rd Fleet works constantly with U.S. 7th Fleet. The forces of both
fleets complement one another across the spectrum of military operations in the
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