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USS Barry deploys amid budget uncertainty

Thursday - 2/7/2013, 1:30pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. -- The USS Barry has deployed to Europe to protect U.S. allies from ballistic missiles.

The guided-missile destroyer left Naval Station Norfolk on Thursday amid an increasingly uncertain budgetary environment.

Severe defense cuts known as sequestration are slated to take effect March 1 unless Congress acts to avert it. Those cuts could affect the length of the Barry's deployment as well as the number of port visits the crew gets to make. The ship is scheduled to be away from home for six months, but budget cuts could delay when a replacement is ready.

The U.S. has committed to deploying destroyers to Europe under a NATO plan to create a ballistic-missile shield for the continent. Those ships are the only ones that will deploy there if sequestration takes effect.

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