NORFOLK (NNS) -- George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) departed for its third deployment, Jan. 21.
The strike group, led by aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), and its nearly 6,000 Sailors will conduct operations in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
The deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the world.
Working with allied and partner maritime forces, GHWBCSG units will focus heavily on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts which help establish conditions for regional security.
"The flexibility of our maritime force is second to none," said Rear Adm. Kenneth R. Whitesell, commander, CSG 2. "We've trained and we're ready to operate and fight decisively, and we embody the core attributes of the Navy of integrity, accountability, initiative, and toughness. We are ready, and I am proud to lead this force."
GHWBCSG includes embarked squadrons Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22.
GHWB spent the last five months conducting intensive training and certification exercises to establish a safe, cohesive organization capable of performing a wide variety of missions across the globe, ranging from counter-piracy and ground support operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
This is the third deployment for the Navy's last Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which recently became combat-ready after the successful completion of Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX).
"We are absolutely ready to go," said Capt. Will Pennington, CVN 77's commanding officer. "In addition to the local Navy infrastructure, there is a tremendous amount of support that's required to get this done; a lot of DoD (Department of Defense) civilians and other entities, and we have gotten fabulous support from them. Our readiness to go today is a testament to them, as well as our Sailors that are on board."
GHWB was commissioned Jan. 10, 2009, as the 10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Named after the 41st U.S. President, George H.W. Bush is the only aircraft carrier in the fleet with a living namesake.
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