USS Spruance departs from San Diego

SAN DIEGO - The guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance left San Diego Wednesday for the Western Pacific.

The Arleigh Burke class vessel and its crew of 260 officers and enlisted personnel will head to the western Pacific to conduct security operation with other nations, according to the Navy.

"We'll primarily do maritime security operations and also what we call theater security cooperation - that's working with other countries to enhance cooperation between our country and their country, and specifically focused on the Navy and relations there," Cmdr. George Kessler, the ship's commanding officer, told local media.

Commissioned two years ago, the 509-foot ship is named after Adm. Raymond Spruance, a cruiser division commander who substituted for the ill Adm. William "Bull" Halsey to lead an aircraft carrier task force at the Battle of Midway during World War II.

Spruance and Halsey went on to split command of the Navy's prime carrier strike force in the Pacific in later battles against the Japanese. Besides giving command staffs a chance to rest and plan for upcoming missions, the arrangement also served to make the Japanese think the U.S. actually had two different task forces.

Spruance later succeeded Adm. Chester Nimitz as the commander of the Pacific Fleet, led the Naval War College and was the U.S. ambassador to The Philippines. He died in 1969 in Pebble Beach.

Raymond Osby was one the sailors departing on the Spruance. The destroyer deployed on its maiden voyage, but it was Osby's fourth. .

“Why do you keep doing this?” 10News reporter Hannah Mullins asked him.

“My squad right here," Osby said as he wrapped his arms around his wife and four kids. "This is why I do it. I do it for them.”

His daughter, Cree, told 10News she loves him and started sobbing before she could finish her sentence.

"We're proud," said Osby's wife, Sheresa. "He’s dedicated, and we support him."

Cree told 10News that her father means a lot to her.

"He loves us a lot and he just keeps working hard just to make us happy and stuff," she said.

Osby will return home in about six months.

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