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NORFOLK -- The crew of the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze had Thanksgiving with family and friends and now they're off on a seven-month deployment.

The ship, with more than 220 sailors and civilians, left Naval Station Norfolk Friday morning to conduct maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in and around the waters of Europe and Africa.

'The U.S. Navy has routinely deployed throughout Europe and Africa to promote peace, regional cooperation and security. Nitze will continue to do its part to help ensure this is maintained,' said Cmdr. John Bub, commanding officer.

This is the ship's fourth deployment since her 2005 commissioning. Nitze most recently deployed with USSEnterprise Carrier Strike Group and returned on Nov. 4, 2012.

The ship can fire surface-to-air missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles from forward and aft vertical launching systems and is configured with port and starboard torpedo tubes, one five-inch gun; and advanced electronic warfare systems.

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