USS Milius returns to San Diego Naval Base
About 280 enlisted personnel and officers are expected
to reunite with loved ones at Naval Base San Diego Tuesday as the guided-
missile destroyer USS Milius returns from an eight-month deployment.
The 505-foot vessel departed San Diego Jan. 11 and spent the past eight
months in the western Pacific Ocean and Middle East, according to Naval Surface
Forces Public Affairs Office.
While away, the Milius performed maritime security in the Persian Gulf
and participated in Iraqi infrastructure protection exercises with the U.S.
Coast Guard as well as Kuwaiti and British naval forces.
“Milius deployed to provide ballistic missile defense capabilities,”
said Cmdr. Nicholie T. Bufkin. “Our day-to-day operations were theater
security cooperation, conducting maritime security operations to build
partnerships and goodwill. As a multi-mission capable destroyer, Milius was
always ready to accomplish all tasking. I'm proud of the great job done by the
officers and crew.”
The Milius is named for Navy pilot Captain Paul L. Milius, who ordered
his seven fellow crew members to bail out as he held their badly damaged
aircraft steady before it crashed over Laos in 1968. All seven were later
rescued but Milius was declared missing in action.
His body never recovered and he was later presumed killed in action. The
aircraft was damaged by enemy fire. Milius was awarded the Navy Cross
posthumously in 1978.