Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing 17, guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) are set to return to their homeports in Coronado and San Diego Wednesday.
USS Carl Vinson serves as the flagship for Carrier Strike Group 1, which also includes Destroyer Squadron 1.
“The successful completion of this deployment is a testament to the high quality of men and women who volunteer to serve in our Navy,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Shannon, commander of the strike group.
“Whether supporting U.S. and coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan, preventing piracy or taking on our Navy's tradition of ambassadorship during overseas port visits to Hong Kong, Dubai, India and Australia, our strike group sailors represented our country with great distinction and honor.”
“This was the ship's second deployment in 18 months, and the crew performed superbly,” said Vinson's Commanding Officer Capt. Kent D. Whalen. “I could not be more proud of my crew.”
Carrier Air Wing 17 includes the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81, the “Stingers” of VFA-113, the “Redcocks” of VFA-22, the “Fists of the Fleet” of VFA-25, the “Garudas” of Electronic Attack Squadron 134, the “Tiger Tails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125, the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 and the “Red Lions” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 15.
Throughout the deployment, the strike group completed the following missions:
- Flew 1,085 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) missions, totaling 6,600 total flight hours. This included close air support missions, support for coalition ground forces, airborne electronic warfare missions and airborne command and control missions.
- Delivered 7,283 pounds of ordnance and expended 1,717 rounds of 20mm ammunition in support of OEF.
- Conducted exercises with coalition countries and other nations, including Singapore, Britain, India and Australia.
- 818 Sailors volunteered for 37 community relations projects and professional exchanges while enjoying port visits in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, India and Australia.
- USS Carl Vinson earned the 2011 Commander Naval Air Forces Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") award for West Coast-based aircraft carriers.
- Also hosted newsman Dan Rather for a three-day visit as the subject of a segment for the television news magazine "Dan Rather Reports." Halsey hosted Oliver North as part of the television news program "War Stories with Oliver North."
- The carrier sailed more than 55,600 nautical miles.
- 676 Sailors earned their Enlisted Surface and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist qualifications.
– From a Navy.mil news release.