The guided-missile destroyer USS Preble was scheduled to return to San Diego Monday morning following a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East.

The vessel served with strike groups led by the aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS George Washington and was the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 15.

"I am incredibly proud of the dedicated professionals on board Preble," said Cmdr. Robert Bryans, Preble's commanding officer. "Each sailor performed with distinction throughout a challenging seven-month deployment that spanned more than 22,000 miles supporting two carrier strike groups. Our success is truly a testament of their courage, hard work and patriotism.'

The Preble and its crew of 300 departed its San Diego homeport April 19 for its first major deployment following an overhaul. The vessel is the sixth named for Commodore Edward Preble, who led a squadron against the Barbary pirates and later formed the officer corps that led the U.S. Navy in the war of 1812.