EVERETT, Wash. — Families welcomed home sailors who deployed on the USS Gridley, which returned to homeport in Everett on Tuesday after a NATO mission.

The USS Gridley, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, covered 39,000 nautical miles while on its deployment from July through December. The Gridley served as the flagship for the maritime task group Standing NATO Maritime Group One, which is made up of ships from NATO countries.

“U.S. alliances are critical to ensuring maritime security and stability, and the Gridley crew demonstrated their ability to work cohesively with other nations, and strengthened partnerships over the last seven months,” Cmdr. Joel Uzarski, Gridley's commanding officer, said in a statement.

During its deployment, the USS Gridley participated in exercise Cutlass Fury 2019, which is Canada’s largest naval exercise. It also participated in the Dynamic Mariner/Flotex-19 exercise alongside more than a dozen European countries.