SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The guided-missile destroyer USS Russell departed from San Diego Wednesday on an independent deployment.
   
The 505-foot vessel will take part in a certification exercise and then head to the Western Pacific and Middle East, Navy officials said.
   
"I am very proud of the manner in which our sailors have prepared themselves and our ship for deployment," said Cmdr. Gill McCarthy, the commanding officer. "They have worked diligently throughout a condensed maintenance and training cycle to ensure that we will successfully carry out our mission while operating overseas."
   
The 20-year-old destroyer was based at Pearl Harbor until 2013, when it transferred to San Diego and went through a major overhaul. It's named for a father and son -- both named John Russell -- a Civil War sailor and Marine from the Spanish-American War.