(DDG-104) IV: displacement 9,515 tons (full); length 510'; beam 66'; draft 32' (maximum navigational); speed 30+ knots; complement 376; armament 1 VLS (Tomahawk, ASROC), 1 5-inch, 2 25 millimeter, 4 12.7 millimeter, 6 torpedo tubes; aircraft 2 MH-60 Seahawks; class Arleigh Burke)
The fourth Sterett (DDG 104) was laid down on 17 November 2005 at Bath, Me., by Bath Iron Works; launched on 19 May 2007; sponsored by Michelle Sterett Bernson; commissioned without ceremony on 26 June 2008 at her building yard and “ceremonially” commissioned on 9 August 2008 at the South Locust Point Marine Terminal, Baltimore, Md., Comdr. Brian B. Eckerle in command.
Following her commissioning, she set course for her home port of San Diego, Calif. While en route, she engaged in various maneuvers and exercises, the highlights of which included meeting with ships from Mayport, Fla., during a hurricane evasion exercise and maneuvers with ships of the Mexican Navy (21-24 Aug 2008). She then transited the Panama Canal on 5 September.
Sterett arrived in San Diego, Calif., on 23 September 2008. After undergoing various certifications and testing programs, on 2 July 2009, she became a member of Destroyer Squadron 9, bringing the ship one step closer to deployment.
For Sterett, the year 2010 marked increasing concentration on in-port training, upkeep and maintenance, as well as additional maneuvers and exercises. One of those evolutions involved a trip from San Diego to Esquimalt, Canada, and Everett, Wash., with her sister ship Halsey (DDG-97) (26-30 April), that focused on multi-ship drills and exercises. Following that coastwise trip, she spent the majority of June in port. Sterett received information of her late October deployment date in July and began concentrating on her preparations for that voyage. It had been decided that she would not being deploying with the rest of her Strike Group on 11 September, but instead, would be deploying alone.
Following her late October departure from San Diego, Calif., Sterett touched at Saipan (9-12 November 2010), then transited the Surigao and Balabac Straits, and the Straits of Malacca, and entered the Indian Ocean (21 November). She arrived at Phuket, Thailand, on 22 November.
While in the western reaches of the Indian Ocean, south of Sri Lanka and India, Sterett received a distress signal from the motor tanker Esperanza, located hundreds of miles away, on 2 December 2010. Sterett answered the signal and sped to the scene. Upon arrival, she found that Esperanza had departed Mumbai, India, on 15 November and had lost propulsion two days out. Although efforts were made to repair the ship (3-13 December); in the end she was deemed irreparable, and Sterett embarked her crew and transported them to Oman.
Subsequently, Sterett transited the Strait of Hormuz on 15 December 2010, then rendezvoused with the carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and the Military Sealift Command-manned fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE-7). She then re-transited the Strait of Hormuz two days after Christmas.
In January 2011, Sterett was assigned the role of Shotgun and Sector Air Defense Commander for the Abraham Lincoln Battle Group while the carrier’s embarked Air Wing conducted missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Comdr. Brian B. Eckerle 26 June 2008 - 2 July 2009
Comdr. Darren McPherson 2 July 2009