July 26 (UPI) -- The guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf returned to its Naval Station Norfolk, Va., home port after a four-month deployment, the Navy announced on Monday.
The ship served with the Navy's Fifth and Sixth Fleets during its deployment, transiting the Sea of Hormuz several times as an escort of cargo ships USNS Carl Brashear and USNS Cesar Chavez and providing close-air support of the Canadian frigate HCMS Calgary in the Arabian Sea.
It also participated in Exercise Eager Defender in early June in the North Arabian Gulf, involving tactical maneuvers and live-fire gunnery drills with the U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt, U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Monomoy and Kuwaiti vessels, KNS Al-Garoh and KNS Istiqlal.
The USS Vella Gulf, which arrived home on Friday, was sidelined for repairs earlier this year after leaving the strike group, then in the area of the Canary Islands, on Feb. 26.
The ship returned to Naval Station Norfolk to deal with a fuel oil leak later blamed on corrosion. While under repair, debris was discovered in the cruiser's main reduction gear, extending its repair period and keeping the ship docked.
It returned to the sea in April and rejoined the carrier strike group after brief sea trials.
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon also returned home to Naval Station Norfolk last week.
Other elements of the group, including the cruiser USS Monterey and guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher and USS Mahan, remain on deployment.