U.S. Navy’s George H.W. Bush carrier strike group (GHWBCSG) is set to depart on a deployment to Europe and Middle East on Saturday, January 21.
Nearly 6,000 sailors assigned to the carrier strike group will depart Norfolk and Mayport, Florida, after they spent more time ashore than it was anticipated.
In June 2015, USS George H.W. Bush moored for what was expected to be a nine-month planned incremental availability (PIA). However, unexpected maintenance works prolonged the PIA by five months.
The 13-month maintenance was completed in July 2016 and the sailors completed their composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) on December 21.
The carrier strike group is now deploying under command of Rear Adm. Kenneth R. Whitesell, commander of CSG 2.
The group of ships is composed of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and Mayport-based guided missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Hue City (CG 66).
GHWBCSG will also continue airstrikes against ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria.