NORFOLK-The crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey is preparing to deploy to the Arabian Gulf.

The crew of 326 will leave Norfolk Naval Station on Monday on a ballistic missile defense mission, but they'll be ready to respond to any humanitarian or disaster situation, the Navy said.

Before getting on site in the gulf, Monterey will conduct certification exercises with the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group in the Atlantic Ocean. Truman left on January 14 for the training exercise.

In a press release ahead of today's deployment, Capt. Thomas Kiss said 'The ship and crew are ready.'

She's not due back until November and Capt. Kiss said that could change depending on world events.

Monterey will relieve Pearl Harbor-based USS Paul Hamilton on the Arabian Gulf patrol.

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