NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- More than 300 sailors are back home in Hampton Roads after nearly 193 days overseas.

The USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) returned from deployment on Friday afternoon. The guided missile cruiser spent nearly seven months in the Middle East and Europe.

This was an independent deployment for the ship, so it conducted maritime security operations without a big strike group.

The ship arrived at Naval Station Norfolk shortly after 1 p.m.

The ship commander, Captain Daniel Sunvold said it was a historic trip with the first visit to the Arctic Circle since 1980.

Captain Sunvold said they worked with the German and Norwegian navies.

The Leyte Gulf Commanding Officer said he's served on 7 deployments, but this crew stood out to him. "This was the best crew I've ever worked with and had the pleasure to work with," said Sunvold.

During the big reunion one USS Leyte Gulf sailor proposed to his girlfriend, Melanie Foster. She said "Oh my god yes."