Crew members onboard the USS Vandegrift were originally scheduled to depart in November but the deployment was moved up six months early after a renovation. Families bid an emotional farewell to their loved ones at Monday's deployment.
USS Vandegrift departed Tuesday for a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific.
The guided-missile frigate was originally scheduled to depart in November but the deployment was moved up 6 months early after a renovation.
So crew members and their families have spent a busy couple of months preparing for the deployment.
Like many Navy deployments, the pier was filled with lots of emotional families saying good bye to their loved ones.
USS Vandegrift is heading to the western Pacific to work with a host of Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore on a variety of training exercises.
It's a chance for them to work and interact with other countries and cultures.
Nerlys Valesquez brought her two young sons to the pier. It’s the fourth time she’s had to go through this process with her husband.
She said her husband was crying as he left so she and her two sons had to stay strong for him.
“It's really hard. It's very hard,” she said. “I'm ok, it's my fourth deployment but I see a lot of people like maybe this is their first deployment and they are really sad.”
USS Vandegrift left around 11 a.m. passing downtown and Point Loma.
The hospital ship USNS Mercy departs Tuesday for a 4-month deployment to the Pacific Rim region.