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USS Sampson Returns To San Diego After Seven Month Deployment


This April 2007 photo released by the U.S. Navy shows the guided missile destroyer USS Sampson during a test cruise off the coast of Maine.

A San Diego-based guided-missile destroyer that took part in the search for a crashed airliner off Indonesia was back in port in San Diego Monday following a deployment of about seven months.

The USS Sampson and its crew of more than 300 sailors left San Diego on Halloween. In December and January, they took part in the search for debris, and subsequent recovery effort, for an AirAsia Airbus A-320 that went down Dec. 28, killing all 162 passengers and crew.

Cmdr. Steven Foley, Sampson's commanding officer, said he was "extremely proud" of his crew.

"They worked hard during the past 18 months preparing for this deployment and it showed in their outstanding performance," Foley said. "Their dedication and sacrifice was truly inspiring and resulted in a highly successful seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific."

The sailors aboard the 509-foot ship also took part in exercises with partner nations and conducted various other operations.

Sampson is the fourth U.S. destroyer named after Rear Adm. William Thomas Sampson, whose naval service lasted from 1857 until 1902, including command of the North Atlantic during the Spanish-American War in 1898.


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