USS Princeton to deploy Wednesday with Nimitz strike group - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

USS Princeton to deploy Wednesday with Nimitz strike group

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton is scheduled to depart San Diego Wednesday for a six-month deployment with a strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, the Navy announced Tuesday.

The Princeton, named after the location of a Revolutionary War battle, will provide air defense for the ships, according to the Navy.

"I am honored to deploy with this great ship, and the men and women of Princeton have worked very hard to be ready for this deployment," said Capt. John Clausen, the commanding officer. "While it is hard to leave behind friends and family, deploying forward is immensely rewarding for all of us."

The Nimitz, which used to be based locally but was transferred to Washington state, will undergo certification exercises before the vessels deploy to the western Pacific Ocean and Middle East.

It was unknown whether the Nimitz group might be directed toward North Korea, which has been bellicose in recent public statements and cut several longstanding ties with South Korea. The aircraft carrier's deployment has been delayed several times by maintenance issues.

The San Diego-based destroyers USS Higgins, USS Stockdale and USS William P. Lawrence, normally part of the flotilla that sails with the Nimitz, deployed in January.

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