The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group left Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Wednesday afternoon and likely headed to Europe as part of the ongoing presence operations as the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches its six-month.
The strike group consists of aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) and destroyers USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), USS Truxtun (DDG-103) and USS Farragut (DDG-99). Delbert D. Black, Truxton and Farragut are part of Destroyer Squadron 26 and homeported at Naval Station Mayport, according to the service.
Leyte Gulf‘s homeport is Naval Station Norfolk.
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 is embarked on Bush and includes:
- The “Pukin’ Dogs” of VFA-143 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Es from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
- The “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
- The “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
- The “Knighthawks” of VFA-136 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
- The “Patriots” of VAQ-140 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
- The “Bluetails” of VAW-121 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
- The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
- The “Nightdippers” of HSC-5 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
- The “Grandmasters” of HSM-46 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
“We bring the full-range of U.S. and allied maritime power in support of national security and defense objectives wherever we sail,” Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander of Carrier Strike Group 10, said in the release. “Throughout our deployment we will continue to operate with and reassure our allies, maintain open sea lanes for trade and increased prosperity, and deter – or if necessary – destroy our adversaries.”
George H.W. Bush completed its graduation exercise last month that included transferring command from U.S. 2nd Fleet to Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) out of Portugal. The carrier completed an extended 30-month maintenance period last year.
The Bush Carrier Strike Group is likely heading to the Mediterranean Sea where it will relieve the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, which has been in the area since December, USNI News previously reported. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin extended the Harry S. Truman CSG as part of the United States’ response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
During its time in the Mediterranean, Harry S. Truman went under NATO control twice, the first ship to do so since the Cold War. The embarked Carrier Air Wing 1 flew 60 to 90 daily sorties along NATO’s eastern front, USNI News reported following a visit to the carrier in March.
Delbert D. Black already departed Mayport, Fla., for its maiden deployment, USNI News previously reported. The destroyer, named after the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, commissioned in 2020.