In this file photo, USS Preble (DDG 88) operates in the Pacific in April alongside USS Momsen (DDG 92). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raul Moreno Jr.)

SAN DIEGO - The guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) is scheduled to return to its homeport of San Diego Nov. 18 following the completion of a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

Deployed since April 19, the ship and crew of more than 280 Sailors served as the flagship for Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 for more than four months and conducted operations with both USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Groups.

The ship also took part in a number of theater security cooperation and maritime presence operations with partner nations in the region.

"I am incredibly proud of the dedicated professionals on board Preble. Each Sailor performed with distinction throughout a challenging seven-month deployment that spanned more than 22,000 miles supporting two carrier strike groups," said Cmdr. Robert T. Bryans, Preble's commanding officer. "Our success is truly a testament of their courage, hard work and patriotism."

Upon their return, the ship will conduct operations and training within Third Fleet's 50-million square mile AOR.

Commissioned Nov. 9, 2002, in Boston, Preble is the sixth U.S. Navy ship named after U.S. naval hero Commodore Edward Preble who fought against the Barbary pirates off the coast of North Africa in the early 1800s. Commodore Preble's efforts in the region, including leading a naval blockade of Tripoli, Libya, formed the officer corps that would later lead the U.S. Navy in the War of 1812.

U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the International Date Line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.