USS Carl Vinson returns home after three-month Indo-Pacific deployment

USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), left, and the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transit the Pacific Ocean on April, 2018, en route to Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego. Photo: US Navy

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) wrapped up a three-month deployment to the Indo-Pacifc returning to its homeport at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego on April 12.

Over 5,000 crew from the aircraft carrier and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 deployed January 5 for routine operations in the Indo-Pacific.

Carl Vinson deployed with guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) from Destroyer Squadron 1.

Wayne E. Meyer returned to Naval Base San Diego at 32nd Street immediately following Carl Vinson’s return. Lake Champlain will return to San Diego after completing scheduled operations in the US 4th Fleet area of responsibility.

USS Michael Murphy is still in southwestern Pacific and is participating in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative mission. The destroyer will later return to its homeport at Pearl Harbor.

“We safely conducted our mission in a complex operating environment,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, the Carl Vinson Strike Group commander. “I give full credit to our sailors. They demonstrated outstanding readiness, watchstanding and navigational skill, and represented our nation and navy with great pride and professionalism. I am very pleased with what we accomplished at sea and ashore as a team.”

Carl Vinson steamed approximately 40,000 nautical miles and visited Guam, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The visit to Vietnam was the first by a US aircraft carrier in more than 40 years and demonstrated America’s continued commitment to the region. Carl Vinson hosted more than 1,300 guests for tours, professional exchanges and a formal reception. Sailors also participated in community service events and sports competitions.

The strike group conducted a variety of joint and combined exercises designed to strengthen regional partnerships and enhance maritime interoperability. Carl Vinson completed a bilateral exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in March. The exercise included a series of training drills and sailor-to-sailor exchanges.

“I’m very proud of what we accomplished as a team,” said Capt. Douglas Verissimo, Carl Vinson’s commanding officer. “The historic visit to Vietnam and the crew’s efforts there will have a tremendous impact for many years.”

The strike group’s deployment marks the second time it has successfully operated in the Indo-Pacific region under US 3rd Fleet’s command and control. US 3rd Fleet’s control of ships and aircraft across the Western Pacific and beyond the international dateline to India enables US 3rd and 7th Fleets to operate together across a broad spectrum of maritime missions in the region.

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