NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- After completing a nine-month deployment in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Operations (AOR), the ships and squadrons of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWB CSG) returned to their homeports in Norfolk, Va., Whidbey Island, Wash. and Mayport, Fla., Nov 15.
The GHWB CSG is comprised of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8), Destroyer Squadron 22 (CDS 22), the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). The Strike Group, which deployed on 15 February, steamed a total of 73,400 nautical miles throughout two different AORs in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) as well as Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) efforts while working with joint, coalition and allied forces.
"I am extremely proud of each and every Sailor in the George H.W. Bush Strike Group and our many accomplishments during this 9-month deployment. The flexibility and striking power inherent in a Carrier Strike Group made a difference on this deployment, and professional Sailors made it all happen." said Rear Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III, commander, GHWB CSG. "I am also eternally grateful for the wonderful support we all received from family members and friends, many of whom welcomed us home today."
Highlighting the versatility of a CSG, in one 30-hour period, CVW-8 flew combat sorties in support of the Afghan Democratic run-off elections, CVN 77 then quickly steamed west executing an inbound Strait of Hormuz transit and then launched armed sorties into Iraq to counter ISIL extremist advances. Ships and aircraft of the GHWB CSG were the first U.S. forces on scene providing combat capability over Iraq and options for the President. GHWB CSG commenced the first airstrikes in Iraq, Aug. 8.
"This ship and air wing team possesses tremendous capabilities which can, and did, have an immediate impact on events in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations. This impact is generated not only by the incredible striking power of a Carrier Strike Group, but by the committed men and women aboard these ships that make it happen day in and day out in extremely trying conditions," said Capt. Andrew Loiselle, commanding officer of George H.W. Bush. "From day one, our Sailors came together and remained focused on the mission. I'm extremely proud of our Sailors and all they've accomplished."
In the early morning of Sept. 23, GHWB CSG and coalition partners participated in the first offensive strikes deep into Syria, engaging both ISIS and Khorasan Group targets using a mix of strike fighter and bomber aircraft as well as Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs). The 47 TLAMs employed in the strikes were launched from the USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea operating in international waters from the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf, respectively.
During 2014, the GHWB CSG team amassed 12,774 sorties for a total of 34,831 flight hours. Of the sorties, 3,245 were combat sorties with 18,333 combat flight hours. The aircraft made 10,003 catapult launches and arrested landings (traps) for the deployment.
During the deployment, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 delivered a total of 232 precision guided bombs, launched 47 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) and fired more than 2,400 rounds of 20mm ammunition.
This was the 2nd combat deployment for CVN 77, which deployed after the successful completion of a Fleet Readiness Training Plan that included Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX), Air Wing Detachment Fallon, and Fleet Synthetic Training exercises.
Upon return to homeports, GHWB CSG Sailors received a warm welcome by family and friends.
CVN 77 was commissioned Jan. 10, 2009 as the 10th and last Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier. Named after the 41st U.S. President, USS George H.W. Bush is the only aircraft carrier in the fleet with a living namesake.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.