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Hundreds of sailors deployed from Mayport, will miss Christmas with families

The sailors will provide a naval presence in Europe and the Middle East.

Hundreds of Navy sailors have deployed on the USS Fort McHenry Wednesday from Naval Station Mayport, missing the holiday season with their families.

They were originally scheduled to leave at 11:30 a.m. but the 400 sailors shipped out at 1 p.m.

The sailors will be embarking on a seven-month deployment in Europe and the Middle East. They will be focusing on maritime security operations, crisis response and theater security cooperation.

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