San Diego, California - The guided missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) returned to Naval Base San Diego from a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean, today.

Deployed since December 2, 2013, Howard's crew of nearly 300 Sailors is completing a successful deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations where the ship conducted exercises with the Republic of Korea navy, among other events.

The ship also conducted anti-submarine warfare missions and multiple theater security cooperation events including an April 11-14 port visit to Manila, Republic of the Philippines.

"Howard represented the nation in the 7th Fleet during exercises and operations while strengthening relationships with our allies and regional partners," said Cmdr. John Fay, Howard's commanding officer. "It's satisfying to think of the successes we enjoyed and great to return home to family and friends."

The ship also operated with the USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Group and transited to Hawaii with international navies participating in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise later this summer.

Howard is named in honor of Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Jimmie E. Howard, a combat veteran of both Korea and Vietnam who was awarded the Medal of Honor, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts during his 27 years of service.