USS Gonzalez to deploy before rest of Lincoln carrier strike group

NORFOLK

A destroyer that's part of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln's strike group is scheduled to deploy earlier than other ships in the group.

The USS Gonzalez is set to leave Naval Station Norfolk on Wednesday. The Navy hasn't specified when the rest of the strike group will leave, but the Spanish Navy has said one of its frigates will join the group at sea in April.

The Navy said the Gonzalez is leaving to perform ballistic missile defense and other missions.

The Lincoln is changing its home port from Norfolk to San Diego and the Spanish Navy has said its frigate ESPS Mendez Nunez will accompany the Lincoln as travels around the world. The Mendez Nunez is set to stay with the strike group until October, the Spanish Navy said.

The Lincoln won't be leaving Norfolk on its own, however. Other ships in its strike group include the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf and the guided-missile destroyers USS Mitcher, USS Winston S. Churchill, USS Mason and USS Nitze.

In late February, the strike group and its air wing completed its final certification exercise before its deployment.

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