USS Arleigh Burke returns home

NORFOLK (Oct. 17, 2014) Cmdr. Camille Flaherity commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), of Durham, North Carolina, hugs her son after returning to Norfolk from a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet area of responsibilities in support of maritime security operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Jessica Kellogg/Released)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Dozens gathered to welcome home the USS Arleigh Burke, Friday.

The USS Arleigh Burke returned to her Norfolk homeport following her deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet area of responsibilities in support of maritime security operations there.

Photos: USS Arleigh Burke returns home

The guided missile destroyer, and its crew of 300 sailors, played a key role in America’s fight against ISIS last month. The crew fired dozens of Tomahawk missiles from the Arabian Sea at ISIS targets in the early morning hours of Sept. 23. They’ve been gone for 8 months in the Middle East. And they returned with pride from significant duties they were undertaking while in harm’s way.

“Nothing better than coming back to my kids, my wife, successful long deployment, it’s all worth it,” said OS2 James Harris. “We made history, and basically, it was just one of a kind, once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“When the president needs something, he has multiple tools at his disposal,” said Commander Camille Flaherty. “The Arleigh Burke is just one of those tools. He called and we answered that call. And that accomplishment day in and day out really gives them a sense of pride and ownership. When we left I told the families my number one goal is to bring everyone back home safely and today I’ve fulfilled that goal, so what a great day.”

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