George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group leaves for regularly-scheduled deployment

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NORFOLK, Va. - Nearly 6,000 U.S. Navy Sailors attached to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group left for regularly-scheduled deployment on January 21.

The group is comprised of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG 58), and USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and guided-missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Hue City (CG 66), Destroyer Squadron 22 (DESRON 22) staff, and the nine squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW 8).

The USS George H.W. Bush, USS Laboon and USS Truxtun are homeported in Norfolk. The USS Philippine Sea, USS Hue City are homeported in Mayport, Florida.

Carrier Air Wing 8 includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 "Fighting Black Lions"; VFA-31 "Tomcatters"; VFA-87 "Golden Warriors"; VFA-37 "Ragin Bulls"; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 "Lancers";  Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124 "Bear Aces"; Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron (HSM) 70 "Spartans"; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 "Tridents"; and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 "Rawhides".

The squadrons of CVW-8 will depart bases including Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, NAS Whidbey Island, NAS Jacksonville, NAS Lemoore and Naval Station Norfolk.

The deployment is part of a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, provide crisis response capability, increase theater security cooperation and forward naval presence in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.