USS Decatur Heads To Persian Gulf

Ship To Conduct Anti-Piracy Operations, Ballistic Missile Defense

The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur left its homeport at Naval Base San Diego Friday for an eight-month deployment to the Persian Gulf.

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The USS Decatur and its crew of 33 officers, 39 chief petty officers and 210 enlisted personnel will conduct anti-piracy operations and ballistic missile defense, according to Naval Surface Forces' public affairs office.

"The crew of Decatur has been working tirelessly throughout 2012 to prepare for this deployment," Cmdr. Joel Ellingson, the commanding officer of the 505-foot-long destroyer, said in a statement. "We would like to thank the family and friends of Decatur for their continued support as we depart on deployment."

The USS Decatur is the fifth Naval ship named after Stephen Decatur, lauded for his heroism during the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. Its previous deployment ended in April 2011.

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