NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The USS James E. Williams has returned to Naval Station Norfolk.

The guided-missile destroyer completed its seven-month deployment on Dec. 23.

A news release from the Navy said the deployment supported anti-submarine exercises and operations in the North and Norwegian seas, as well as maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf.

More than 300 sailors, assigned to Destroyer Squadron 22, also conducted presence operations and goodwill activities with partner nations, the release said.

Fire Controlman 3rd Class Matthew Kennedy was quoted saying, "This deployment was both amazing and difficult. I grew very close to my shipmates and I saw all kinds of amazing countries. But, it was far from easy. It was filled with long hours and hard work. In the end, I am proud of what we have done."