VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Hundreds of sailors are about to head to Europe and the Middle East.

Around 400 men and women are leaving JEB Little Creek aboard the USS Oak Hill for a 6-month deployment.

Sailors have been preparing for about two years for this deployment.

And this is really a lively group is sailors; as they prepared to leave Friday morning, there was lots of jokes being tossed around and smiles aplenty. Of course, there are also some tears from families saying their goodbyes to their loved ones.

The group is heading to the Mediterranean and the Middle East to conduct security operations. On the way there, they'll meet up with the USS Iwo Jima and USS New York and also pick up Marines off the coast of North Carolina.