USS Preble returns to San Diego

The guided missile destroyer USS Preble returned to San Diego Monday following a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East.

The vessel served with strike groups led by the aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS George Washington and was the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 15.

"I am incredibly proud of the dedicated professionals on board Preble," said Cmdr. Robert Bryans, Preble's commanding officer. "Each sailor performed with distinction throughout a challenging seven-month deployment that spanned more than 22,000 miles supporting two carrier strike groups. Our success is truly a testament of their courage, hard work and patriotism."

The Preble and its crew of 300 departed its San Diego home port on April 19 for its first major deployment following an overhaul.

Loved ones waited 213 days for the ship to come in. Everyone was thrilled and some showed excitement differently than others.

"I made this sign for Daddy," said 4-year-old Hannah Dechico.

She eventually ditched the sign she was so proud of and ran right for her dad.

The vessel is the sixth named for Commodore Edward Preble, who led a squadron against the Barbary pirates and later formed the officer corps that led the U.S. Navy in the war of 1812.

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