& # 39; Welcome Home, Daddy & # 39 ;: USS Milius join the 7th Fleet in Yokosuka
NAVY BASE YOKOSUKA, Japan – The 7th Navy Fleet welcomed the destroyer USS Milius and his crew 300 to the ship's new home in Yokosuka on Tuesday.
Cmdr. Jennifer M. Pontius, commander of the USS Milius, said on Tuesday that the ship brings with it a "well-trained team ready for any task."
It also provides enhanced missile defense capabilities with its new Aegis Baseline 9 combat system. The ship's arrival date to Yokosuka was suspended for almost a year because it underwent maintenance and modernization, including improvements in its capabilities. air defense, ballistic missiles, surface and underwater warfare, according to a statement from the Navy.
A highlight of the new system, the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense platform, allows Milius to fire short-range ballistic missiles into the atmosphere, and short to intermediate missiles into the atmosphere, according to the Navy.
The arrival of Milius reinforces the efforts of the Navy to place more of its advanced platforms and weapons in the region. In 2015, the USS Benfold destroyer arrived in Yokosuka with the updated Aegis Baseline 9. The improved destroyer USS Barry arrived the following year.
Before the 505-foot-long militia, 8,228 tons arrived in Japan, completed qualifying tests and multiple incidents with live fire to test their new weapons, the Navy said.  "Our combat system and our well-trained crew are ready to support whatever mission we are called to perform," said Pontius.
Milius will help relieve some of the workload of the forward deployed fleet, which has undergone an attempt last year and a half.
Although Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift told Stars and Stripes in 2017 that Milius does not replace the severely damaged destroyers in fatal collisions last year, the 7th Fleet has had a shortage of ships like the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain undergo repairs.
Pontius said his ship "actually looks [ed] internally" after the collisions, thoroughly reviewing the Milius crew training and other operations.
"We have acted Simply I took the time to study the events to learn from them, and take those lessons learned and make sure we are implementing them," said Pontius. "Not only in our surveillance team, but in the whole ship, because it affects each one of us".
Milius left his former base port of the 3rd Fleet in San Diego last month, stopping for a visit to the port in Hawaii on the way to Japan. Some of the crew's families left for Yokosuka in March, preparing their new homes in Japan while their loved ones sailed the Pacific.
Others, like Natsumi Brown, had been in Yokosuka for a while. Brown's husband, Chief Petty Officer Kevin Brown, had been stationed in Yokosuka before leaving for San Diego about a year ago.
When the three Brown children carried signs saying "Welcome home, dad," Natsumi Brown said she was "excited." "To have his family reunited."
Although Pontius said the ship is "in excellent condition", Milius will remain in Yokosuka for an unspecified time, as he enters a period of routine maintenance, allowing his sailors to settle in their new homes in Japan.