SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group (CSG) returned to San Diego June 4, following a nearly 10-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations.
The Carl Vinson CSG includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked squadrons from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 with the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Dewey (DDG 105).
Aircraft from CVW 17 flew off to their respective bases June 3-4. The CVW 17 squadrons include the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22 "Fighting Redcocks," the VFA-113 "Stingers," and the VFA-94 "Mighty Shrikes" from Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California; the VFA-81 "Sunliners" from NAS Oceana, Virginia.; the Electronic Attack Squadron 139 "Cougars" from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington; the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116 "Sun Kings" from NAS Point Mugu, California; and the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 "Red Lions," the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron HSM-73 "Battlecats," and Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30 from Naval Air Station North Island, California.
Over the course of the deployment, supporting strike operations in Iraq and Syria, CVW 17 successfully flew 12,300 sorties, including 2,382 combat missions and dropped more than a half a million pounds of ordnance against ISIS.
"The successful completion of such a lengthy deployment is a testament to the high quality of men and women who volunteer to serve in our United States Navy," said Rear Adm. Chris Grady, Carl Vinson CSG commander. "Whether supporting strike operations over Iraq and Syria or being ambassadors during overseas port visits, these Sailors represented our country with great distinction and honor. I'm extremely proud and honored to lead this team."
Also during the deployment, Carl Vinson CSG, CVW 17 and DESRON 1 participated in exercise Valiant Shield, a nine-day joint air, land and sea cooperation training between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army to develop tactics techniques and procedures in a joint environment in waters near Guam. In May the Vinson CSG participated in a bi-lateral training event with Malaysian military air and surface units.
"Now more than ever, the aircraft carrier is called to be the away team," said Capt. Karl Thomas, Carl Vinson's commanding officer. "Our team has fired on all cylinders for the past nine months and had the tenacity to answer the bell every time. It's now time for America's Favorite Carrier to return home."
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.