VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., (WVEC) -- The USS Gunston Hall deployed with more than 500 sailors and Marines to the U.S. Southern Command area on Monday.

The U.S. Southern Command area includes Central and South America.

The dock landing ship will depart from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

The ship will pick up Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in North Carolina before it deploys to South America.

The deployment will last approximately three months.