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NORFOLK Loved ones said their final farewells at Naval Station Norfolk as the crew of the Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin left on deployment.

The ship will be gone seven months on a regularly-scheduled trip to the U.S. 6th Fleet area.

She returned from her last deployment on December 20, 2010. Most recently, the ship returned to Norfolk on July 12 after taking part in Composite Training exercise and multiple training evolutions.

The Navy says the ship is the first in the Flight IIA class of destroyers equipped with the AEGIS Weapons Systems and is designed to incorporate shaping techniques to reduce radar detectability and likelihood of being targeted. She excels in high-threat areas, anti-air, anti-submarine, anti-surface, and strike operations.

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