Two Pearl Destroyers Head for Persian Gulf - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Two Pearl Destroyers Head for Persian Gulf

Angel Pascual Angel Pascual
Cmdr. Brad Cooper Cmdr. Brad Cooper

PEARL HARBOR (KHNL) - Hundreds of Pearl Harbor Sailors are headed to Iraq. Two destroyers answered the call to duty today, and a unexpected call it was. The Navy is calling a surge deployment.

Destroyers Hamilton and Russell left today on this short notice deployment. Many of the sailors have only been back for a few months and they were not expecting to ship out so soon. Family members say that makes this even harder to deal with.

The 320 sailors aboard the USS Russell make last minute preparations for their mission. They're meeting up with the USS Reagan carrier strike group and they heading to the western Pacific. Sailors have internet and some comforts of home to stay in touch with their families.

"I'm just here waiting for my husband to deploy I'm a lttle sad because this is third deployment and we have kids. We couldn t bring our kids because they are going to cry" said Angel Pascual.

"I think it s important for our families to recognize, and we articulate this all the time that our nation is at war. And although we may not neccesarily see it in Hawaii everyday, the simple fact that there are hundreds of thosuand of troops overseas carrying out the mission. So these are uncertain times, and they have certain demands in uncertain times" said Commander Brad Cooper.

As the USS Russell slowly pulls away the sailors on deck stand at attention. Meanwhile their families wipe away the tears and start counting the days. Even the ship's commander couldn't tell us how long they would be away on this unexpected deployment. Some wives heard it would be anywhere from two and four months.

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