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San Diego-Based Destroyer Returns Home After Deployment To Middle East

The USS Higgins (DDG 76) in the Arabian Gulf on Memorial Day in 2011.
Naval Surface Warriors
The USS Higgins (DDG 76) in the Arabian Gulf on Memorial Day in 2011.

A San Diego-based guided-missile destroyer that served with the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the western Pacific and Middle East returned home Monday following a lengthy deployment.

The USS Higgins and its crew of 250 left Jan. 14 and, according to the Navy, conducted several exercises and theater security operations while at sea.

The vessel also made port call in Palau, Singapore, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Japan, Guam and Pearl Harbor.

During a port visit to Nagoya, Japan, Higgins' sailors helped clean the grounds at a local orphanage, the Navy said. While in Thailand, several sailors helped rebuild a school damaged by a tropical storm.

The sailors also hosted midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy and students from other universities as part of a summer training program.

The ship is named in honor of U.S. Marine Col. William R. Higgins, who was captured and killed in southern Lebanon by Hezbollah militants on Feb. 17, 1988, while serving as part of a U.N. peacekeeping mission.