USS Cole headed to Europe

One of Hampton Roads’ best-known ships, USS Cole, is back at sea.

The USS Cole is on its way to Europe, ready to defend America in a new kind of way.

The ship is now outfitted with ballistic missile defense capabilities.

Preparations for this had been made since the Cole returned in 2010.

There are more than 250 sailors on board, all who are ready to carry out what’s required.

For families, today was a tough day to watch their loved ones leave.

The Cole’s deployment is set to last nine months.