The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) of the United States Navy has entered 7th Fleet’s area of responsibility October 13 for security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the US Navy said. USS Benfold is now homeported to Yokosuka, Japan from its previous homeport in Naval Station San Diego, California.
USS Benfold’s will enhance presence in the 7th Fleet as part of the US Navy’s long range plan to send the most advanced and capable units to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, while also adding to the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capable ships in 7th Fleet’s AOR.
7th Fleet’s AOR includes 36 maritime countries and the world’s five largest foreign armed forces, People’s Republic of China, Russia, India, North Korea and Republic of Korea. Five of the seven US Mutual Defense Treaties are with countries in the area, Republic of the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
In October 2014, the US Navy said ballistic missile defense (BMD)-capable guided-missile destroyers USS Benfold and USS Milius (DDG 69) will be homeported to Japan, 2015 and 2017 respectively, as part of the US Navy’s long-range plan to put the most advanced and capable units forward. While guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) will hull swap USS Lassen (DDG 82) to join the Forward Deployed Naval Forces.
“Barry, Benfold, and Milius will all complete a midlife modernization, making them among the most capable ships of their class. All will be fitted with the latest Aegis Baseline 9 combat system which includes state of the art air defense, ballistic missile defense, surface warfare and undersea warfare capabilities,” the US Navy said.