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NORFOLK (AP) -- Families stood pierside Thursday to see their loved ones assigned to USS Barryhead to sea.

The guided missile destroyer is off to the European theater to support maritime security and security cooperation efforts in the region. The crew will help protect Europe from ballistic missiles.

During its last deployment in July 2011, the Barry launched 55 Tomahawk cruise missiles in support of establishing a no-fly zone over Libya.

Budget uncertainties could affect how long Barry's crew is gone and the number of port visits they make. The ship's six-month deployment could change depending on the budget situation, officials stated.

The Barry was to make a stop at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown before heading to sea. Because of an approaching winter storm expected to hit the Northeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic, SURFLANT spokesman Lieutenant Commander Bill Urban told 13News the Barry will remain at the naval weapons station until Monday.

AP-WF-02-06-13 1709GMT

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