The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group and approximately 6,000 sailors were scheduled Saturday to depart Norfolk, Virginia, and Mayport, Florida, for deployment.
The U.S. Navy said Thursday the deployment is part of a regular troop rotation that seeks to support crisis response, maritime security and theater security cooperation efforts as well as advance naval presence in both 5th and 6th fleet areas.
Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, commander of the carrier strike group 2, leads GHWBCSG that is composed of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) aircraft carrier, CSG-2 staff and Carrier Air Wing 8’s nine squadrons and personnel.
Guided-missile cruisers USS Hue City (CG 66) and USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) as well as destroyer squadron 22’s staff and guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Laboon (DDG 58) also operate under CSG-2.
The service branch noted that CVW-8’s nine squadrons that include VFA-31 “Tomcatters” and VFA 213 “Fighting Black Lions” will leave several bases such as the Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida and NAS Oceana in Virginia.