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Bataan returns from longest deployment in decades

Tuesday - 2/7/2012, 11:47am  ET

NORFOLK, Va. - The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group has returned to Virginia following the longest deployment for a Navy ship in nearly 40 years.

The group is made up of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde and the dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island. The ships arrived in Norfolk and Virginia Beach on Tuesday after ten and a half months at sea.

The group deployed three months ahead of schedule in March to support NATO operations in Libya. The Bataan surpassed the record for the longest deployment for an amphibious ship by nearly three weeks, which was set by the USS Okinawa in 1990. The Bataan came within a week of passing the aircraft carrier USS Midway's deployment record, set in 1973.

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