Families say goodbye as USS Higgins deploys to the Middle East

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Families said their goodbyes Monday as the USS Higgins, a guided-missile destroyer, left its San Diego port for a scheduled deployment to the Middle East.

Throughout the next seven months, the Higgins will perform a variety of missions, including missile defense, the Navy said.

The vessel returned from deployment from the Middle East in February of 2016.

The ship is named for Marine Col. William “Rich” Higgins, who was a military observer in Lebanon who was kidnapped in 1988 and later killed by a pro-Iranian group.

The deployment comes amid a difficult time for military families, with Thanksgiving this week and Christmas right around the corner.

The Higgins has a crew of 330.

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