NORFOLK, Va – More than 7,000 Sailors from the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) are scheduled to arrive to their homeport, Aug. 21.
Led by Commander, Carrier Strike Group 2 Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, the GHWBCSG is comprised of flagship USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) with embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, CSG-2 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff and ships.
The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), commanded by Capt. Will Pennington, and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) are returning to Naval Station (NS) Norfolk after a seven-month deployment. USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) returns to NS Mayport, Florida, Aug. 19, and USS Hue City (CG 66) returns Aug. 21.
The squadrons of CVW-8, commanded by Capt. Jim McCall, departed bases including Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, NAS Whidbey Island, NAS Jacksonville, NAS Lemoore and NS Norfolk. CVW-8 includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 “Fighting Blacklions”; VFA-31 “Tomcatters”; VFA-87 “Golden Warriors”; VFA-37 “Ragin Bulls”; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 “Lancers”; Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124 “Bear Aces”; Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 “Spartans”; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 “Tridents”; and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides."
The ships of DESRON 22, commanded by Commodore Benjamin Nicholson, departed at various times from Naval Station Norfolk and Denmark. DESRON 22 ships deployed with GHWBCSG included USS Truxtun (DDG 103), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Mahan (DDG 72) and Danish frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F 362).
While deployed, the strike group served in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq and Syria.
Mahan, Cole and Laboon returned in June and July. Other CSG-2 ships include USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95), both conducting independent deployments. Leyte Gulf departed from Norfolk Mar. 27 and James E. Williams departed Norfolk May 24.