NORFOLK -- As one deployment ended, another began Tuesday as the USS Bainbridge returned to Norfolk and sailors aboard the USS Elrodleft.

USS Elrod will be gone for six months in the 6th Fleet.

The guided-missile frigate returned from deployment in July 2012 after taking part in Operation Martillo, a drug patrol operation in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus.

During the six-month deployment USS Elrod's crew conducted seven successful port visits. During the Roatan, Honduras visit, the crew participated in Project Handclasp, delivering medical and hygiene supplies to a local orphanage and hospital, as well as stuffed animals to local school children and to the Pediatric wing of the local hospital. The crew also volunteered for two Community Relations projects readying a school that was opening the following week and cleaning up the grounds of the orphanage.

The guided-missile cruiser USS Bainbridge returned on the rainy Tuesday from a 6-month deployment.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge left Naval Station Norfolk on June 14 in support of Maritime Security Operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Area of Responsibilities.

The ship deployed 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.

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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