The destroyer McFaul sailed from Norfolk Wednesday as family and friends waved goodbyes.

The destroyer is headed for an independent deployment to 4th Fleet, as well as 5th and 6th Fleets and is expected to conduct ballistic missile defense and maritime security missions.

"This crew is dedicated and excited to get underway and start our deployment. They have worked tirelessly for the past two years preparing and are ready to execute when called upon," Cmdr. Michael J. Gunther, the ship's skipper, said in the ship's press release. "The 'Silent Warriors' of McFaul are well-trained, capable, and more than ready to carry out all assigned missions."

The McFaul is named for Chief Petty Officer Donald McFaul, a Navy SEAL who posthumously received the Navy Cross for defending teammates under heavy fire during Operation Just Cause in 1989 in Panama.

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