PHILIPPINE SEA - (May 17, 2020) –USS Barry (DDG 52), an Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyer, completed integrated operations, May 17, with personnel and units from across the Indo-Pacific region.
Barry’s crew hosted their Fleet Commander, Vice Adm. Bill Merz, and other senior officers, May 11th.
The integrated operations strengthened operating forces in the maritime environment. The focus of integration aimed to streamline command and control, further develop advanced warfighting concepts, and strengthen overall maritime readiness to respond to any contingency.
"This was a great opportunity for Barry to continue sharpening its warfighting prowess," said Cmdr. Bill Blodgett, Barry’s commanding officer. "These operations provided opportunities for Barry to interface and train with units from across the joint force in order to improve the combat readiness of the force as a whole.”
Forces involved in the integrated operations included: three Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyers USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), USS Russell (DDG 59), and USS Mustin (DDG 89), three Military Sealift Command supply ships USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11), USNS Pecos (T-AO 197), and USNS John Ericson (T-AO 194). Also, three deployed U.S. submarines and a number of U.S. Air Force and naval assets and personnel spent over a week with USS Barry in the Philippine Sea.
Throughout the operations, the group executed a wide range of tactical capabilities demonstrating the inherent flexibility of the joint maritime force. These capabilities ranged from routine replenishments-at-seas to complex anti-submarine, air defense, and surface warfare exercises.
During the Fleet Commander’s visit, Merz joined Barry and spoke with the officers and crew. He discussed warfighting principles and current and upcoming operations.
“Barry is code word in 7th Fleet for Ironman,” said Merz, speaking of Barry’s consistent regional operations since November of 2019. “For those who wish to take advantage of COVID, maybe they sense an opportunity; well, Barry and her sister ships are frustrating them – you just won’t go away. You are 7th Fleet, and we are the persistent partner of the 36 maritime nations in the region aligned to protect commerce and freedom. I have never had a team in which I have had such immense confidence.”
Capt. Christine Sears and Capt. Daniel Mode joined Merz on the visit. Sears, the U.S. 7th Fleet surgeon, met with Barry’s medical department, provided training, and toured the ship’s medical spaces. Mode, the U.S. 7th Fleet chaplain, met with the command’s lay leaders and held a Roman Catholic Mass and Confessional for the ship’s crew.
Barry’s participation supported the U.S. Navy’s mission to develop proficient and lethal forces that are ready to fight and provide layered defensive options to protect U.S., allies and partners’ interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
Barry is assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.