San Diego-based USS Sterett headed to China, USS Carl Vinson arriving in Hawaii after 6-month deployment

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego-based destroyer USS Sterett is making a scheduled port call to Zhanjiang, China, the Navy announced Tuesday.

The vessel, which deployed March 31 along with the destroyer USS Dewey, is making the first U.S. Navy visit to Zhanjiang since 2015 and the first to mainland China this year.

"This visit is an exciting opportunity to promote maritime cooperation and reinforce a navy-to-navy relationship with our People’s Liberation Army-Navy counterparts,” said Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, Sterett’s commanding officer.

During the port visit, sailors will conduct sporting events, ship tours and a community relations event, along with leadership office calls and receptions with Chinese military officials, according to the Navy.

"My staff, the Sterett crew and I are excited to be here and enjoy this port visit in Zhanjiang,” said Capt. David Bretz, commander of the destroyer squadron. "Professional engagement with regional navies allows us the opportunity to build upon our existing relationships, as well as learn from each other.”

Besides its crew, the Sterett is carrying a detachment from Helicopter Maritime Squadron 49, based at Naval Air Station North Island.

The vessel is named after Andrew Sterett, who commanded the USS Enterprise in a battle off the Barbary Coast in 1801.

In other Navy news, the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, cruiser USS Lake Champlain and destroyer Wayne E. Meyer are scheduled to arrive in Hawaii Wednesday as they near the end of a six-month deployment.

The vessels were part of a recent U.S. show of force in the Sea of Japan during a period of saber-rattling by North Korea.

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