PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after a scheduled seven-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibilities (AOR) Aug. 6.
Russell deployed under the Middle Pacific Surface Combatant deployment concept, in which Pearl Harbor-based ships deploy in support of operations in the Middle East and western Pacific.
Russell also conducted integrated operations in conjunction with coalition partners, and with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.
"While on deployment we operated mainly in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR protecting oil platforms," said Cmdr. Rodney Patton, commanding officer of Russell. "On our way home we conducted operations with the Malaysian Navy, and we stopped in Japan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Japan-U.S. alliance."
Patton also spoke about how well the more than 200 Russell Sailors performed on the deployment.
"I could not have asked of anything more from the ship and the crew. It was an outstanding performance," said Patton. "We were on station each and every day, and we never missed any tasking."
Friends and families of Russell Sailors lined the pier as they waited for the ship to arrive.
"I really haven't seen my husband that much this year because the ship has been deployed for a while now," said the wife of a Russell Sailor. "I'm just really happy to see him and be able to spend some extended time with him."
Sailors were happy to be home as they walked off the ship to be greeted by their families.
"It was a long deployment and it feels great to be back here in Hawaii," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Tommy Nickerson. "I think we did a great job on the deployment, and I want to thank everyone who was involved for the support."
Guided-missile destroyers like Russell provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities and can operate independently or as part of carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups and underway replenishment groups.