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Jan 05 2016
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After nearly 10 years forward deployed, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) departed Yokosuka, Japan, Jan. 6.

She will conduct her last patrol in the western pacific before heading to her new homeport of Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

Lassen is one of the destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and Carrier Strike Group 5. Her time forward deployed was highlighted by several significant accomplishments in the Indo-Asia Pacific.

In March of 2010, Lassen aided in the salvage and recovery of the Republic of Korea Ship (ROKS) Cheonan after it sank off the coast of the Republic of Korea. Later that year Lassen participated in the Invincible Spirit exercise conducted with the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN).

Lassen was the first ship to arrive in the Leyte Gulf, Republic of the Philippines, in the fall of 2013 to aid in Operation Damayan after Typhoon Haiyan caused damage to the area. Lassen acted as a fueling station for the helicopter squadrons that aided the remote villages affected.

Lassen has played a role in several different exercises during her deployments, fostering relations with allies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific

In 2006, Lassen participated in her first Annual Exercise (AnnualEx) the largest bilateral exercise conducted in 7th Fleet, and continued the participation throughout her time in Japan. She has also participated Multi-Sail, a DESRON 15-led exercise designed to test interoperability and combat capabilities.

In 2010 Lassen participated in a number of exercises including, Foal Eagle, a bilateral Field Training Exercise with the ROKN, Malabar, a trilateral exercise conducted with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), a bilateral exercise, Invincible Spirit, and Keen Sword, bilateral exercises with the ROKN.

During her last deployment in 2015, Lassen continued her participation in Foal Eagle, CARAT, Multi-Sail and AnnualEx 16. She also hosted a group of midshipmen from the Naval Academy during their summer program

Along with continued participation in exercises, Lassen conducted port visits to Donghae, Republic of Korea, Bali, Indonesia and Nagasaki, Japan, Melbourne, Australia, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and a number of others during her time in 7th Fleet.

Often, the Sailors aboard Lassen had the opportunity to participate in community relations (COMREL) projects such as during the multiple visits to Vladivostok, Russia, to foster relations with the Russian Navy, Sailors participated in celebration events and visits to a children’s medical ward and a center for at-risk youth.

During her port visit in 2010 to Goa, India, Sailors renovated a primary school. The Sailors painted a number of classrooms and interacted with the staff and students.

Replacing Lassen is the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52). Barry will join U.S. 7th Fleet as a Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capable destroyer. She brings the newest Aegis combat system, Baseline 9.C, to 7th Fleet and the capability to fire all Vertical Launch System (VLS) ordnance, including the newest missiles, RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) and RIM-161 Standard Missile 6 (SM-6). Barry brings more advanced Link capabilities including Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) to aid interoperability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

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