NORFOLK Guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge left Naval Station Norfolk Friday for a seven-month deployment in support of Maritime Security Operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Area of Responsibilities.

The ship is deploying to the European and African theaters as part of extensive effort to deter piracy on the high seas, secure maritime lines of communication, and ensure the oceans remain open and safe for commercial shipping traffic.

'The crew, led by an outstanding Chief's Mess, flawlessly conducted a very demanding certification process and performed superbly in preparation for this deployment,' said Cmdr. David J. Pearson, commanding officer. 'This is the most motivated and positive crew I have ever served. They are ready to execute all assigned missions.'

The ship last deployed in January 2011, on an independent deployment with Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of Operation Ocean Shield conducting counter-piracy operations in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, and the Indian Ocean.

Commissioned in 1995, Bainbridge is the fifth ship to carry the name, and the 46th destroyer of a planned 62-ship class. Bainbridge is named in honor of Commodore William Bainbridge, who, as Commander of the frigate USS Constitution, distinguished himself in the War of 1812 when he and his crew captured HMS Java, a 38-gun fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy.

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