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Navy Ships USS Princeton, USS Howard To Return To San Diego

Guided missile destroyer USS Howard prepares for a scheduled replenishment at...

Credit: U.S. Navy

Above: Guided missile destroyer USS Howard prepares for a scheduled replenishment at sea in the South China Sea, Aug. 29, 2004.

Two San Diego-based ships that escorted the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on deployment are scheduled to return to San Diego on Tuesday, the Navy announced Thursday.

The cruiser USS Princeton and destroyer USS Howard departed San Diego June 5 to join up with the Nimitz, which is based in Washington state.

During the deployment, the Nimitz strike group sailed more than 78,000 miles — equivalent to about five times around the world, flew 1,322 combat sorties into Iraq and Syria and dropped 904 pieces of ordnance. They also trained with allied navies and made numerous port visits.

In October, sailors aboard the Howard assisted three Iranian mariners who reported being attacked by pirates.

"The team demonstrated the professionalism, strength and resolve of the U.S. Navy around the world,' said Rear Adm. Gregory Harris, commander of the force.

"They battled through the intense heat of the Arabian Gulf to conduct operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve," Harris said. "We also enhanced partnerships with international friends and allies, and now we can get back to our families and enjoy well-deserved time with them."

The Nimitz and Washington-based destroyers USS Shoup and USS Kidd will stop off in San Diego before continuing on home.

Navy officials said the destroyer USS Pinckney, which also deployed with the group, is scheduled to return to San Diego later this month.

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