July 20 (UPI) -- The guided missile destroyer USS Carney has arrived at its new home port, Naval Station Mayport, Fla., after a five-year forward deployment.
The ship, which pulled into port on Sunday, was part of the U.S. Navy's 6th Fleet's area of operations and part of Destroyer Squadron 60, with Rota, Spain, as its home port since 2015, the Navy said.
USS Carney left Rota on June 27 and arrived in Mayport on Sunday, replaced in the fleet by the USS Roosevelt, according to the Navy.
"Carney was busy, extremely busy over the last five years, and it's really nice to come back home here and return these hard-working sailors back here to their families," Cmdr. Chris Carroll told CBS 47 in Jacksonville.
In its final patrol in this spring, the vessel shifted to the 5th Fleet in support of the Navy's Bataan Amphibious Ready Group.
"On our last deployment, we actually went out to 5th Fleet and circumnavigated the entirety of Africa [instead of transiting through the Suez Canal], just providing our reassurance to our African ally partners out there," Carroll said.
Maintaining social distancing protocols because of COVID-19 precautions, families waited in cars in parking lots until the sailors left the ship on Sunday.
"Just knowing that they've come home and they're safe and they're back on American soil, it's great," said Myla Pettitt, whose son was aboard the USS Carney.
The USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer 505 feet long, typically carries 271 crew and officers. It was commissioned in 1996 and used Mayport as its home port until the 2015 deployment.