USS GETTYSBURG, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and an embarked Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 detachment departed their homeport of Mayport, Fla., May 10, to deploy as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG).
Gettysburg will act as the air defense commander in support of CSG 2.
"We feel that it is a huge honor to be the air defense commander for USS George H.W. Bush's maiden deployment," said Gettysburg Command Master Chief (SW) Brent H. Tidwell. "As a crew, we take a lot of pride in being selected. We have worked hard to be chosen by Rear Adm. Nora Tyson and her staff to be air defense commander."
The strike group and its nearly 6,000 Sailors, which includes the Navy's newest aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), is scheduled to conduct operations in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
"I'm really excited to be getting the chance to see new places and try new things," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Melissa L. Winter. "Plus I'm looking forward to showing my friends and family pictures, and saying 'Hey, look what I got to see.'"
"I look for us to have a safe deployment," said Tidwell. "We take everybody over there, and we bring everybody back, most importantly."
Gettysburg Sailors have spent the last year conducting intensive training and certification exercises to establish a safe, cohesive organization capable of performing a wide variety of missions across the globe.
"We are ready to deploy, to be the ship to go overseas and execute the country's mission, whatever that might be, and to do it with honor," said Tidwell. "The crew is fired up. We have an amazing group of Sailors with great character, trust and camaraderie."
The George H.W. Bush Strike Group is made up of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff, USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57).
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.