USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) pulled into its homeport in Norfolk, Va., on Sunday, marking the end of an eight month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.
The aircraft carrier left Norfolk on Aug. 10 for its deployment and arrived in the Mediterranean to relieve the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group at the end of August. Bush spent 230 days in the Mediterranean, anchoring the regional deterrence and presence missions amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
“I am extremely proud of Capt. Pollard and the teamwork, professionalism, and grit the Avengers brought to the strike group team,” Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 10, said in a Navy news release. Velez was referring to Bush commanding officer Capt. Dave Pollard.
“They excelled during a very challenging deployment where we demonstrated the awesome power of a U.S. Navy carrier strike group to our Allies and partners, while messaging our adversaries that we were ready to defend every inch of NATO territory.”
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin extended the deployment for Bush, Carrier Air Wing 7 and its escorts, as the next CSG expected to deploy from the East Coast wrapped up pre-deployment drills.
“While in the Mediterranean, the ship participated in and supported a multitude of multinational exercises to increase NATO capability and deter aggression in the region. The ship also completed port visits in Croatia, Italy, France, and Greece,” the Navy news release reads.
“Some of ship’s highlights from deployment include participation in the NATO-led vigilance activity Neptune Strike (NEST) 22.3 and NEST 23.1 and exercise Juniper Oak 23-2, the largest bi-lateral U.S.-Israeli exercise in history.”
The Bush CSG deployed with Bush, Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), USS Truxtun (DDG-103) and USS Farragut (DDG-99).
Some of the air wing squadrons flew to their respective home air stations last week, according to a news release from CSG 10.
Delbert D. Black pulled into its homeport at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., on Sunday, while Leyte Gulf also arrived home in Norfolk on Sunday. Truxtun is still deployed and currently operating off the coast of Sudan following the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum amid ongoing fighting between Sudanese military leaders. Farragut deployed to U.S. 4th Fleet in February.
USS Nitze (DDG-94), which left several weeks before the Bush CSG but operated with it during the deployment, pulled into its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk on April 5. Nitze also operated in U.S. 5th Fleet during the deployment.
The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is expected to take up the deterrence and presence mission in the Mediterranean when it deploys next month.