SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins, which played a vital role in airstrikes in Syria earlier this year, is scheduled to return to its San Diego homeport Thursday.
The ship and its crew of over 300 sailors left for the Middle East in November. While the USS Higgins is part of the 3rd Fleet, its assignment was an independent deployment to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility covering the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.
In April, the USS Higgins was one of three U.S. Navy ships to launch Tomahawk missiles that targeted Assad regime-controlled chemical weapons facilities in Syria.
USS Higgins reportedly fired 23 missiles from the North Arabian Gulf; a combined 105 missiles were launched by Navy ships, a Navy submarine, a French ship, U.S. bombers, and French and British warplanes.
Hundreds of family members and friends are expected to greet the ship when it docks at Naval Base San Diego at around 9:30 a.m.
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.