USS Arleigh Burke to return next week

Posted at 11:27 AM, Jul 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-27 11:27:53-04

The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) will return home to Naval Station Norfolk, July 31, after completing a six-month deployment providing air defense support in the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility, according to release from the U.S. Navy.

Soon after deploying, Arleigh Burke became part of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 60 and Commander, Task Force 65 as the air defense platform for guided-missile destroyers USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and USS Cole (DDG 67) and guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72).

The ship made port calls in Haifa, Israel, Limassol and Larnaca, Cyprus, where the crew celebrated Memorial Day.

The deployment offered Sailors other rewards as well. Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist pins were earned by 52 Sailors; five Chief Petty Officers were promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer; 22 Sailors reenlisted for a combined total of 95 years; and numerous Sailors received meritorious awards for their exemplary duties at sea.

With a crew of nearly 300, Arleigh Burke returns under the command of Cmdr. Thomas P. Moninger who relieved Cmdr. Corey J. Keniston during a change of command ceremony April 2.

Arleigh Burke is named in honor of Admiral Arleigh “31-Knot” Burke, who distinguished himself during World War II and Korea, and served as Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations.