USS Cole leaves Va. on deployment

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The USS Cole has left Virginia on a six-month deployment.

The guided-missile destroyer departed Naval Station Norfolk on Friday.

The Navy says the ship will be operating in the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding waters. The Navy says the Cole will conduct maritime operations and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities.

Its last deployment occurred in 2012. It was originally scheduled to last six months, but that was extended to nine months. The ship returned to Virginia in 2013. Between maintenance periods, the crew was underway for certification exercises, participation in the NATO exercise Joint Warrior, and Fleet Week New York earlier this year.

The Cole is named in honor of Marine Sgt. Darrell S. Cole, who was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.

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