ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (NNS) -- The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), along with Carrier Air Wing 8, departed Norfolk, Va., September 1 in support of the global war on terrorism.
Nearly 7,500 Sailors packed their seabags and left their families behind to heed the nation's call.
Commanded by Rear Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., commander, Carrier Strike Group 2, TRCSG includes the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), with its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8; the Norfolk-based guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56); the Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyers USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and USS Donald Cook (DDG 75); the Spanish frigate SPS Alvaro de Bazan (F101); and the combat logistics ships USNS Mount Baker (T-AE 34) from Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., and USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) from Norfolk.
"We're ready to go, largely due to the hard work put in by our Sailors, but in no small measure due to the tremendous support we've received throughout the Tidewater area," said Winnefeld. "This support comes from those who help man, train and equip us, and from our friends and families, who provide such important moral support."
This underway marks the final deployment of the famed F-14 Tomcat. The "Tomcatters" of Fighter Squadron (VF) 31 and the "Black Lions" of VF-213, both out of Naval Air Station Oceana, will be the last two Tomcat squadrons to deploy. This is also the final deployment for the "Scouts" of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 24, based out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. The squadrons are scheduled to be decommissioned in 2006.
TRCSG will likely spend time in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, relieving the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
For related news, visit the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn71.