PACIFIC OCEAN (April 20, 2016) The Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) (front) steams in formation with USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Momsen (DDG 92). Spruance, along with guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Decatur (DDG 73), and embarked “Devil Fish” and “Warbirds” detachments of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, deployed as part of a U.S. 3rd Fleet Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG) under Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 31. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Will Gaskill/Released)
Navy Times: This strike group made China nervous — even without an aircraft carrier
The three-destroyer pack that set China on edge in the contested South China Sea are back from their western Pacific deployment.
The destroyers Decatur, Momsen and Spruance, which made up the first-of-its-kind Pacific surface action group, returned to the states in the days following the election from their seven-month cruise. During their deployment the ships ducked in and out of the South China Sea, played cat and mouse with the Chinese fleet and surveilled China's man-made islands.
The group was dispatched in April on a quest to fine-tune so-called "distributed lethality" tactics, which breaks up more traditional strike groups and amphibious ready groups. Top surface warfare officer Vice Adm. Tom Rowden has been championing a concept designed to join up surface combatants that can spread out the enemy’s surveillance assets and ships, and that adds long range anti-ship and anti-sub weapons to make the ships more deadly. The destroyers were sent out to test the concepts in the real world.
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WNU Editor: Yup .... you do not need an aircraft carrier to make a point.