YOKOSUKA, Japan — Two guided-missile frigates that deployed Jan. 29 to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom are scheduled to return Friday morning.

A spokesman for Commander, Naval Forces Japan said he expects a large turnout to greet the 220-member crews of the USS Gary and USS Vandegrift.

An estimated arrival time was not available Tuesday.

During their Middle East tours, the frigates made port calls in Bahrain and Seychelles, officials said.

The crew of the Gary is credited with the March 13 rescue of eight Iraqi fishermen, officials said. The fishermen had abandoned the Kaptain Mohamad, which was taking on water approximately 20 miles off the Iranian coast.

The frigate also helped vessels in distress in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the Navy said.

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