SAN DIEGO (Jan. 11, 2012) Sailors haul in the mooring lines as the guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) prepares to depart for deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shawnte Bryan)

SAN DIEGO (NNS) - Guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) departed for a scheduled independent deployment to the western Pacific and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility.

More than 280 enlisted personnel and officers will be aboard as the Mulius performs maritime security and ballistic missile defense operations while on deployment.

"As a multi-mission AEGIS destroyer, Milius is prepared to execute a full range of missions in support of U.S., partner and coalition objectives," said Cmdr. Nikki Bufkin, commanding officer of Milius. "The officers and crew are prepared and ready to go."

A deployment can add stress to family members, even for the family of Sailors who have been on other deployments.

"Even though he has been on deployment before, it still feels like the first one again and it's very hard," said Susan Modlin, the mother of Fire Controlman 2nd Class Kevin Modlin.

Although deployments can be difficult, family members understand the importance of the mission and the needs of their loved ones.

"We need to stay strong and supportive because it can get stressful out on the deployment," said Rosa Potts, the fianc of Culinary Specialist 2nd Class David Perez. "They are well trained and prepared and we back home have family and friends here to support us while they are away."

Milius is assigned to Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, which leads naval forces in the eastern Pacific from the west coast of North America to the international date line.