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USS Benfold Leaves Friday for 8-Month Deployment

The destroyer will go to the Western Pacific and Middle East, the Navy says.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold is scheduled to leave San Diego Friday afternoon for an eight-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East, according to the Navy's Third Fleet.

The ship will take part in ballistic missile defense and anti-piracy missions, according to the Navy.

“The importance of Benfold's (ballistic missile defense) capability in support of global mission requirements is definitely significant, and we take full pride in that fact,” said Cmdr. Dave Oden, Benfold's top officer. “BMD is a high-demand mission and we are very excited to be in theater providing that kind of capability with an outstanding, hard working crew.”

The Arleigh Burke class destroyer's last major deployment was between September 2009 and March 2010.

The vessel is named after Navy Hospitalman 3rd class Edward Clyde Benfold, who was killed in action in 1952 in Korea while serving as a corpsman with the First Marine Division.

During an attack by opposing forces, Benfold went into a crater to check on the condition of two Marines, only to have the enemy toss in a pair of grenades. According to the Navy, he picked up the explosives, jumped out of the pit, and detonated them against the chests of onrushing soldiers.

He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of the two Marines in the hole.

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