The USS Cape St. George returned to port in San Diego Wednesday following a deployment that took the guided-missile cruiser around the world.
The vessel departed last December and operated with the battle group led by the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, then based in Everett, Wash.
In February, amid heightened tensions over Western economic sanctions against Iran imposed in an effort to wean it from its nuclear program, the ships passed unscathed through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow opening that leads from the Gulf of Oman to the Persian Gulf.
At the time the Cape St. George and the Abraham Lincoln passed through the strait, Iran was threatening to close it to disrupt crude oil deliveries. An Iranian patrol boat reportedly came within two miles of the U.S. warships but did not engage the Americans.
When the Lincoln completed its deployment, it sailed to its new base at Norfolk, leading to the 567-foot-long Cape St. George's global circuit. The vessel also passed through the Suez and Panama canals on the way home.
Several of those dockside also traveled long distance to greet the sailors.
A mother of a sailor from Jacksonville, Fla. told 10News she planned to surprise her son after telling him she couldn't come because of work and lack of funds.
"My daughter-in-law bought the tickets, we've been plotting against him for a month now," Darlene Brown said. "He's been calling me. I'm like 'No, I can't come, I want to, but I can't."'
While at sea, the ship coordinated air defense missions. The Navy said the vessel and its crew of around 400 traveled 70,000 nautical miles during its deployment.
The Cape St. George is named for a World War II battle in which U.S. Navy destroyers defeated a Japanese destroyer force.
– City News Service