The USS Preble, a destroyer based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, returned home Thursday from a counter narcotics deployment it began in March. The deployment began the same month that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

“We took all available precautions before the start of the deployment,” Preble’s executive officer Cmdr. Peter Lesaca said in a press release. “I credit our Sailors for understanding the gravity of the pandemic, keeping themselves in good health, and taking care of their shipmates to keep the ship safe.”

U.S. Navy Region Hawaii spokeswoman Lydia Roberston told Civil Beat that the crew quarantined off shore for 14 days before returning to port.

200625-N-MQ703-1018 PEARL HARBOR (June 25, 2020) Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following the ship’s surge deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations, June 25. Preble joined other U.S. Navy warships, numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security cooperating in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, are all playing a role in counter-drug operations. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jaimar Carson Bondurant)

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Thursday after the ship’s surge deployment to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.

Jaimar Carson Bondurant/U.S. Navy

Usually assigned to operations in the Pacific, the Preble was on a surge deployment in support of the Florida-based 4th Fleet along with the Helicopter Maritime Squadron 37 based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The Preble and HSM 37 joined a massive interagency task force that included the Coast Guard, U.S. Border Patrol, FBI, DEA, and ICE, along with several foreign military and law enforcement agencies cooperating on tracking transnational crime in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.

During the deployment Preble and an embarked detachment of Coast Guard members seized an estimated 2,000 kilograms of cocaine, which authorities estimated to have a wholesale value of $40 million.

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