USS Coronado returns after maiden deployment

SAN DIEGO – The littoral combat ship USS Coronado returned to San Diego Tuesday from a nearly 9-month deployment to Southeast Asia.

In the Coronado's case, its current set of sailors have been away since April.  While previous LCS deployments were beset by mechanical problems, Navy officials deemed the Coronado's deployment successful in significantly cutting maintenance times.

Two other San Diego-based warships returning from deployment pulled into port Tuesday, while a third is set to come back on Wednesday.

The destroyer USS Howard returned from a six-month deployment with the strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. The Nimitz and escorts based in Washington state also stopped over in San Diego.

The strike group conducted strikes against Islamic State targets in the Middle East, trained with allied navies and made numerous port visits. In October, sailors aboard the Howard rescued three Iranian mariners who reported being attacked by pirates.

The cruiser USS Princeton, which also traveled with the group, was set to return home Tuesday but will instead arrive home on Wednesday, according to the Navy. Another San Diego-based vessel in the strike group, the destroyer USS Pinckney, reached Hawaii on Monday and is scheduled to arrive home later this month, Navy officials said.

The Howard, Pinckney and Princeton left San Diego on June 5.

Ships of the LCS variety are manned by crews that rotate, allowing the vessels to remain on station for longer periods of time.