NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Nearly 350 sailors assigned to the USS Oscar Austin came home Friday morning.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer had been on a seven-month deployment around the globe before docking at Naval Station Norfolk.
The destroyer spent time in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations and provided maritime security in areas like the Black Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Baltic Sea.
The ship traveled more than 51,000 nautical miles through three oceans and visited 13 ports across Europe.
It’s at these stops where sailors also helped community members.
“We helped out orphanages. We helped out veterans. We would go offboard and clean up and provide beautification and just play with the kids. It was a lot of fun,” said Commander Samantha Dutily. “We had a great time. Many of our sailors supported that.”
Dutily says the Oscar Austin’s presence helped support allies and merchant boats, but being able to interact with people abroad is what made the trip special.
“That’s the best part of my job. When I get to go ashore and visit different countries and help out and show the United States is here to support them and they really appreciate that support,” she said.
CLICK HERE to see a slideshow of when the ship left back in April.