SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Marines and sailors aboard three U.S Navy warships will return to the San Diego area Friday following a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East.
Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville and guided-missile destroyer USS Preble will return to Naval Station San Diego while sailors and Marines from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan arrive at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado Friday morning.
The ships, which departed Feb. 2, were the first to reach the Japanese coast in March when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake followed by a tsunami struck Honshu. They provided disaster relief efforts for several weeks.
The Ronald Reagan passed through a cloud of radiation from a damaged nuclear reactor but no American service member was contaminated.
"Every sailor and Marine on board should feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction," said Capt. Thom Burke, the Ronald Reagan's skipper. "They worked long hours, in tough conditions and I couldn't be happier to be bringing everyone home safely."
During the 219-day deployment, the ships conducted maritime and theater security operations and visited ports in Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Guam and Hawaii.
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