The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) and its complement of nearly 300 returned from its seven-month, independent deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East on Friday.
While away, the ship and its crew of 33 officers, 38 chief petty officers and 210 enlisted personnel took part in ballistic missile defense and anti-piracy missions, according to the Navy's Third Fleet. It was one of four U.S. warships that tracked the long-range ballistic missile launched from North Korea early last month to ensure it did not threaten the United States or other allies.
In addition to the Benfold, the cruiser USS Shiloh and destroyers USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald were in position to track and shoot down the North Korean missile if necessary. The three other ships are presently homeported at Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan.