After leaving on April 3, the 567-foot ship and her crew of more than 325 sailors conducted operations with the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the Western Pacific and Middle East, where they were stationed in position to help in case U.S. military action was ordered in civil war-torn Syria.
“Throughout this extended deployment, Princeton’s crew has performed superbly, maintaining an incredible work ethic, total commitment to our mission and pride in our ship,” said Capt. Charles Good, the commanding officer.
“We’re all glad to be safe at home and are looking forward to rejoining the San Diego waterfront and once again being part of this great community.”
Good assumed command from Capt. John Clausen while at sea in August. During their time at sea, the Princeton’s crew took part in a futile search effort for two crew members of a Coronado-based helicopter that crashed in the Red Sea last month and also aided five Yemeni fishermen stranded at sea with no food or water in the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.
The Princeton, the sixth Navy vessel to carry the name, honors battles in and around the city of Princeton, N.J., in 1777 as part of the Revolutionary War.
The original Princeton was a sloop launched in 1843 as the first Navy vessel to be powered by a steam-driven screw. The second was a transport ship and the third a gunboat.
The fourth vessel to carry the name was an aircraft carrier sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in World War II. The fifth was another flattop commissioned just after that conflict, but it served in the Korean and Vietnam wars and recovered Apollo 10.
The current Princeton was commissioned in 1989.