USS Nimitz pulls into San Diego en route home

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) sailors man the rails as the ship prepares to moor at Naval Air Station North Island, Dec. 5, 2017. Photo: US Navy

The crew of US Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) pulled into San Diego, December 5, together with San Diego-homeported guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) and NAS Lemoore-stationed Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.

USS Nimitz, and destroyer USS Shoup and USS Kidd made the stop in San Diego before returning to their homeports in Washington. After disembarking the air wing and DESRON command staff, the USS Nimitz is scheduled to arrive in Washington on December 10.

The carrier strike group undertook a six-month deployment to Western Pacific and US 5th Fleet area of operations to support the fight against ISIS under the US defense department’s operation Inherent Resolve.

The strike group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Kidd (DDG 100) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91). The guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) is slated to return to San Diego December 6 while USS Pinckney is expected in San Diego later this month.

During the deployment, the strike group sailed more than 78,000 miles (equivalent to approximately five times around the world), flew over 1,000 combat sorties into Iraq and Syria, and dropped over 900 pieces of ordnance.

The strike group conducted training and operations with the French Marine Nationale, Indian Navy, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, Royal Australian Navy, the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, and Royal New Zealand Navy. These included exercise Malabar 2017 in the Indian Ocean, Intrepid Sentinel in the Gulf of Oman and landmark Three-Carrier Strike Force Operations in the Western Pacific.

In addition, the strike group conducted visit, board, search and seizure drills, close-in coordinated maneuvers, flag hoisting drills, sea surveillance, replenishments-at-sea, maritime patrol and reconnaissance, explosive ordnance disposal operations, and air, surface and anti-submarine warfare training.

USS Nimitz also became the first US Navy aircraft carrier to visit Sri Lanka in 32 years visiting the country on October 28.

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