USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) is scheduled to depart for a Middle East and Mediterranean deployment on Saturday as the centerpiece of Carrier Strike Group 2, U.S. Navy Fleet Forces command announced Wednesday.
Bush will ship out with the guided missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG-103) from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) and guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) will deploy from Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
The ships will relieve the Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) strike group currently supporting the air war over Afghanistan in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
The deployment follows an early 2013 reduction in the carrier presence in the Middle East that reduced U.S. carriers from two nine months out of the year to a single carrier.
Historically, sorties from U.S. Navy carriers have been responsible for up to a third of the air strikes in Afghanistan.
“Aircraft squadrons include strike fighter squadrons VFA 213 “Fighting Black Lions,” VFA 31 ‘Tomcatters,’ VFA 15 ‘Valions’ and VFA 87 ‘Golden Warriors;’ tactical electronics warfare squadron VAQ 134 “Garudas;” carrier airborne early warning squadron VAW 124 ‘Bear Aces;’ fleet logistics support squadron VRC 40 ‘Rawhides’ helicopter maritime strike squadron HSM 70 ‘Spartans’ and helicopter sea combat squadron HSC 9 ‘Tridents’,” according to Fleet Forces.