SAN DIEGO (CNS) - About 280 enlisted personnel and officers are expected to reunite with loved ones at Naval Base San Diego Tuesday as the guided-missile destroyer USS Milius returns from an eight-month deployment.
The 505-foot vessel departed San Diego Jan. 11 and spent the past eight months in the western Pacific Ocean and Middle East, according to Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs Office.
While away, the Milius performed maritime security in the Persian Gulf and participated in Iraqi infrastructure protection exercises with the U.S. Coast Guard as well as Kuwaiti and British naval forces.
"Milius deployed to provide ballistic missile defense capabilities," said Cmdr. Nicholie T. Bufkin. "Our day-to-day operations were theater security cooperation, conducting maritime security operations to build partnerships and goodwill. As a multi-mission capable destroyer, Milius was always ready to accomplish all tasking. I'm proud of the great job done by the officers and crew."
The Milius is named for Navy pilot Captain Paul L. Milius, who ordered his seven fellow crew members to bail out as he held their badly damaged aircraft steady before it crashed over Laos in 1968. All seven were later rescued but Milius was declared missing in action.
His body never recovered and he was later presumed killed in action. The aircraft was damaged by enemy fire. Milius was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously in 1978.