PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- More than 275 Sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled independent deployment on April 15.
Hopper will be conducting operations in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
During the deployment, Hopper will participate in ballistic missile defense operations, maritime interdiction operations and theater security cooperation.
Cmdr. Kevin Melody, commanding officer of Hopper, noted how well-prepared the crew is for the deployment.
"The crew has trained hard for this deployment," said Melody. "They are ready to execute any mission they may be assigned."
Even though Hopper Sailors were sad to say goodbye to their families, they were ready for the challenges that may lie ahead.
"It should be exciting," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Timothy Liddell. "I'm looking forward to seeing how the area and our mission have changed since we were last over there."
Friends and family waved goodbye from the pier as they watched the ship depart Pearl Harbor in route to the Pacific Ocean.
Hopper helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian/disaster response within 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.
Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants, capable of anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare missions. They operate independently in support of carrier and expeditionary strike groups.
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