USS Carl Vinson Back in San Diego After Four Months in the Pacific

February 23, 2024 3:32 PM
USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) moored at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., on Feb, 2024. San Diego Web Cam Image

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) pulled into its homeport on Friday, U.S. 3rd Fleet announced.

Vinson arrived at Naval Air Station North Island in California this morning local time after operating for four months in the Indo-Pacific. Carrier deployments are typically six months long, but can get extended. Vinson does not have plans to immediately enter a scheduled maintenance availability and is still certified for national tasking, USNI News understands.

“Our operations meet the requirements of our combatant commanders and our national leaders,” Rear Adm. Carlos Sardiello, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 1, told reporters Friday at the pier when asked why Vinson was out for a shorter amount of time. “We are ready to go at all times and at the time of choosing where we can deploy now. We’re ready to go tomorrow and we will go again when necessary.”

The Vinson Carrier Strike Group deployed with squadrons making up Carrier Air Wing 2, cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59) and Destroyer Squadron 1, which included USS Hopper (DDG-70), USS Kidd (DDG-100), USS Sterett (DDG-104), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110).

William P. Lawrence returned to its homeport of Naval Station Pearl Harbor on Wednesday, while Princeton and Sterett pulled into Naval Base San Diego on Wednesday. Hopper was in Subic Bay, the Philippines as of Thursday, according to ship spotters. It’s unclear where Kidd is currently located.

Friends and family watch as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) returns to its homeport of Pearl Harbor on Feb. 21, 2024. U.S. Navy Photo

During its four-month deployment, Vinson made port calls in Singapore and South Korea. The December stop in Singapore was the carrier’s first visit to the country since 2017, USNI News previously reported. Vinson’s stop in Busan was the third U.S. aircraft carrier visit to South Korea in 2023. USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) visited South Korea in March and October, respectively.

While out in U.S. 7th Fleet, Vinson operated in the South China Sea and did a trilateral deterrence patrol with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Korea Navy in November, USNI News reported at the time. At the start of this year, Vinson drilled with the Philippine Navy in the South China Sea.

In late January, Vinson teamed up with aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and JMSDF helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH-182) for drills in the Philippine Sea.

From left to right, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Daniel K. Inouye (DDG 118) sail in formation during Multi-Large Deck Event (MLDE) in the Philippine Sea on Jan. 31. U.S. Navy Photo

“The U.S. and Japan are uniquely capable of rapidly assembling multiple large-deck naval forces in support of mutual security interests in the Indo Pacific,” Sardiello said in a statement at the time. “Our ability to rapidly aggregate and work collectively alongside the JMSDF and the Theodore Roosevelt strike group is positive proof.”

On its way back to North Island, Vinson stopped in Pearl Harbor earlier this month for a scheduled five-day port visit.

Vinson quietly deployed in mid-October. While the Navy did not announce the carrier’s deployment at the time, the service did announce the deployment of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) from the East Coast that same week. For the last few years, U.S. Pacific Fleet has inconsistently announced carrier strike group and amphibious ready group deployments from the West Coast.

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne is a reporter for USNI News. She previously covered the Navy for Inside Defense and reported on politics for The Hill.
Follow @MalShelbourne

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox