SAN DIEGO — The guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins left its San Diego home port Monday for a regularly scheduled deployment to the Middle East.
The Higgins and its crew of almost 330 sailors will perform a variety of missions, such as ballistic missile defense, over the next seven months or so, according to the Navy. The crew just completed what the Navy called a “rigorous maintenance phase and training cycle.”
The deployment comes at a rough time for families, just three days before Thanksgiving and a little over one month before Christmas.
The Higgins is named for Marine Col. William “Rich” Higgins, a military observer in Lebanon who was kidnapped in 1988 by a pro-Iranian group and later killed. His widow, retired Marine Lt. Col. Robin Higgins, is the ship’s sponsor.
The vessel returned from its last deployment, also to the Middle East, in February 2016.
NOW: 330 sailors preparing for deployment on the USS Higgins at 8am, right before the holidays. Families already starting to line the pier at Naval Base San Diego. @fox5sandiego pic.twitter.com/AbLHmpwKk3
— Aric Richards (@AricFOX5) November 20, 2017