SAN DIEGO - The guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) is scheduled to depart Feb. 24 for a six-month, independent deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility.

"Sampson's crew has worked extremely hard in preparation for this deployment. We are trained and prepared to execute any mission assigned," said Cmdr. Chris Alexander, commanding officer of Sampson.

"We will, of course, miss San Diego, our friends and our families," Alexander said. "We leave them behind knowing that what we do is vital to the security of the nation and our way of life."