Guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez deploys

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NORFOLK, Va. – The guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez departed Naval Station Norfolk, March 15, on a regularly-scheduled deployment to conduct ballistic missile defense and theater security cooperation.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez was originally set to deploy from Naval Station Norfolk Wednesday, but the deployment was delayed to Friday morning at 8 a.m.

Roughly 300 Sailors deployed with the ship. They are trained and ready to conduct a wide range of missions.

“Team Gonzalez has worked tirelessly through the phases of training approaching this deployment,” said Cmdr. Christopher J. Schwarz, Gonzalez’s commanding officer. “With our outstanding crew and dedication to building a culture of excellence, we have succeeded in every preparation for deployment. We are ready to execute our mission and go ‘beyond the call.’”

The ship recently returned from Composite Unit Training Exercise with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group.

Commissioned in 1996, Gonzalez is named after Marine Corps Sgt. Alfredo “Freddy” Gonzalez. “Fighting Freddy” received the Medal of Honor for his leadership in the Battle of Hue City, where he was killed protecting the members of his platoon.

“Our sailors are dedicated, strong, and prepared,” said Command Master Chief Samira Carney. “Gonzalez is proud to represent the fighting spirit of Sgt. Freddy Gonzalez.”

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