NORFOLK (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) departed Naval Station Norfolk today on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Arabian Sea to participate in counter-piracy operations.
The crew, commanded by Cmdr. Daniel J. Gillen, has been preparing for this deployment since they returned from their last deployment in August 2010.
"I have a great crew and we are ready for this deployment," praised Gillen. "I like to think this ship is like a Swiss Army Knife; we can do everything, from humanitarian relief to full combat operations."
"I look forward to getting over there and bringing this ship, one of the best ships on the Norfolk waterfront, overseas to do our mission," he added.
This will be McFaul's Command Master Chief Dianne Lohner's seventh and last deployment before retiring later this year.
"It will be a little bittersweet for me," said Lohner. "But I'm excited about all the new experiences we will have and the Naval traditions that we will continue to pass along."
"For the new Sailors making their first deployment, I stress with them to make sure they make the most out of every day out there," she added.
This is the first deployment for Navy wives Hillary Chaney, wife of Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Bryce Chaney and Annie Verteramo, wife of Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jameson Verteramo, who stood together as the ship pulled out.
"I am proud to know that I am married to a man who is going to do this for our country, even though it's sad that he has to leave to do it," Hillary said.
Annie added, "I feel selfish for not wanting him to leave, but I am definitely proud, it is cool to know that your husband is out there doing this."
Family members of Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74) wave good-bye as McFaul pulls away from the pier at Naval Station Norfolk.
McFaul, commissioned in 1998, is the 24th Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer, and was named after Chief Petty Officer Donald L. McFaul. McFaul was a local SEAL Team 4 hero who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the Nation's second highest combat valor award, for his heroic actions in saving his teammates during combat operations in December 1989 as part of Operation Just Cause in Panama.