U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and the ships from its carrier strike group are set to return to their homeports of Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Base San Diego, June 23, following a five-and-a-half-month deployment to the Western Pacific.
Returning with Carl Vinson are guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), along with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1.
USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), also part of the strike group, departed from its homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Jan. 13, and returned, June 13.
During the deployment, the strike group conducted operations with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force consisting of visit, board, search and seizure drills, tactical maneuvering, flag hoisting drills, and air, surface and anti-submarine warfare training.
The strike group also participated in the maritime portion of exercise Foal Eagle, a series of annual defense-oriented training events designed to increase readiness to defend the ROK, protect the region, and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula. The exercise was conducted by ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command and United States component commands in Korea, to include ground, air, naval and special operations.
Additionally, Michael Murphy conducted an 18-day joint mission with the U.S. Coast Guard in the Central and South Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to combat transnational crimes, enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security.
Over the five-and-a-half month span, the strike group conducted port visits in Fiji, Guam, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Saipan, Singapore and Solomon Islands. While visiting each port, Sailors participated in numerous community service events, including volunteer service at schools, community centers, animal shelters and food banks.