PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - More than 300 Sailors aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled seven-month deployment, June 24.
During the deployment, Port Royal will conduct ballistic missile defense operations, maritime interdiction operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
"This crew has prepared well and is excited about deployment," said Capt. Eric F. Weilenman, Port Royal commanding officer. "We are looking forward to executing tasking whenever and wherever it occurs."
Sailors aboard Port Royal expressed their anticipation about the upcoming missions that lie ahead and the value of being forward deployed.
"I am excited for the chance to see different parts of the world during our port visits," said Culinary Specialist Seaman T.J. Fernandez.
"We've worked hard and we're ready to get out there and make a difference," added Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class Emanuel Bolton.
Friends and families lined the pier to say goodbye as the ship departed the pier en route to the Pacific Ocean.
Port Royal helps provide deterrence, promotes peace and security, preserves freedom of the seas and humanitarian/disaster response within U.S. 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed in support of geographical combatant commander objectives.
U.S. Navy guided-missile cruisers perform primarily in a battle force role. These ships have multi-mission capability, including air warfare, undersea warfare, naval surface fire support and surface warfare, surface combatants capable of supporting carrier strike groups, amphibious forces or of operating independently and as flagships of surface action groups. Cruisers are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles giving them additional long range strike warfare capability.