Norfolk, Va. – The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower will return to Norfolk on Dec. 19th.
The Ike is returning early from what was to be a nine-month deployment because mechanical problems aboard a different aircraft carrier – the USS Nimitz – caused a change in the deployment schedule.
The Nimitz was supposed to leave in January to relieve the Eisenhower from its duties in the Persian Gulf, but the Navy made the call last month that the Nimitz was not yet fit for sea.
For the Eisenhower to pick up the Nimitz’s slack, the carrier still needs to get its flight deck resurfaced and will be home for about two months while that work is done.
Normally, the U.S. has two carriers in the Persian Gulf at all times, but because of the Nimitz repairs, the Navy is breaking this rule for December. The USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, currently deployed, will be the sole carrier in the region then.
In January the Norfolk based USS Harry S. Truman will be heading to the Persian Gulf, ahead of the Eisenhower’s return.
The guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City returned with the Eisenhower and will arrive in Naval Station Mayport on Dec. 19th as well.
The USS Jason Dunham, USS Farragut and USS Winston S. Churchill have remained on station are scheduled to return in March 2013.