The guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup arrives at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, on Dec. 19, 2022.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup arrives at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, on Dec. 19, 2022. (Zachary Grooman/U.S. Navy)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan  — The guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup steamed into this naval base on Tokyo Bay on Monday, where it became the ninth warship in Destroyer Squadron 15.

Formerly homeported at Naval Station Everett, Wash., the Shoup linked up with the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group on Nov. 28 and deployed out of San Diego on Dec. 3 before making the trip to Yokosuka Naval Base.

A Flight IIA variant of the Arleigh-Burke class of destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile defense system, the Shoup has an onboard hangar that accommodates two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, which sets it apart from the Flight I and Flight II variants.

Along with the USS Dewey, USS Howard, USS Rafael and USS Ralph Johnson, the Shoup is the fifth Flight IIA destroyer to join Destroyer Squadron 15, according to Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Keiley, spokesman for Task Force 71.

“Shoup is a valuable addition to [Task Force 71] and DESRON 15 that ensures our forward-deployed surface force is ready to face any maritime challenge thanks to the destroyer’s capabilities and the dedicated sailors onboard,” he told Stars and Stripes in a Tuesday email.

The Shoup is a new addition to the fleet but does not replace any other destroyer, Keiley said, although another destroyer is slated to leave in the future. He declined to identify that destroyer or say when it will depart.

The 508.5-foot, 9,200-ton warship with a crew of approximately 270 sailors is under the command of Cmdr. Dale Tourtelotte, according to a Monday news release from 7th Fleet. Tourtelotte, a Texas native and 2005 graduate of Texas A&M University, previously served aboard the destroyers USS Forrest Sherman and USS Sterett and the littoral combat ships USS Independence and USS Gabrielle Giffords, according to his official Navy biography. He was most recently the executive officer aboard the Shoup.

Commissioned on June 22, 2002, the ship was named after U.S. Marine Corps General David Shoup, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient who served as the 22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps between 1960 and 1963, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command website.

In addition to the four other Flight IIA destroyers in the task force, the Shoup joins Flight I destroyers USS Barry, USS Benfold and USS Milius and Flight II destroyer USS Higgins.

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Alex Wilson covers the U.S. Navy and other services from Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Originally from Knoxville, Tenn., he holds a journalism degree from the University of North Florida. He previously covered crime and the military in Key West, Fla., and business in Jacksonville, Fla.

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