NORFOLK - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) is back home in Norfolk for the first time this year.

She arrived at her pier just after noon Friday.

The crew left December 28 to take part in Ballistic Missile Defense operations after getting an upgrade to its missile systems.

The ship was one of four Norfolk-based destroyers positioned within striking distance of Syria as the Obama administration weighed possible missile strikes against that country for alleged used of chemical weapons.

The crew conducted 26 underway replenishments, 50 weapons exercises, 53 small boat operations, and 15 flight operations with 147 landings and recoveries of helicopters, the Navy reported.

'The majority of the world's commerce moves by way of the sea,' said Cmdr. Joe Matison, Mahan executive officer. 'We were out there ensuring safety and freedom of navigation, which is in the interest of all nations, by conducting theater security operations and working with our maritime partners.'

Live video of the homecoming.

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