A jet launches from the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush during its final pre-deployment evaluations.The Bush Carrier Strike Group will deploy Feb. 15. (MC3 Abe McNatt/Navy)
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NORFOLK, VA. — Four ships, one air wing and more than 5,000 sailors that comprise the Bush Carrier Strike Group will get underway Saturday to conduct maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 5th and 6th Fleets, Fleet Forces Command said Wednesday.
The CSG includes two Norfolk-based ships: the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush and the guided missile destroyer Truxtun. Two escorts, the destroyer Roosevelt and the cruiser Philippine Sea, will leave the same day from Mayport, Fla.
The guided missile destroyer Arleigh Burke will also depart Norfolk on Saturday on an independent eight-month ballistic missile defense patrol to 5th Fleet, the FFC news release said.
Carrier Air Wing 8 is based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va. It includes four strike fighter squadrons: the VFA-213 “Fighting Black Lions,” the VFA 31 “Tomcatters,” the VFA 15 “Valions” and the VFA 87 “Golden Warriors.” CVW 8 also includes tactical electronics warfare squadron 134 “Garudas,” carrier airborne early warning squadron 124 “Bear Aces,” fleet logistics support squadron 40 “Rawhides,” helicopter maritime strike squadron 70 “Spartans” and helicopter sea combat squadron 9 “Tridents.”
George H.W. Bush had some noteworthy trials and tests over the past year. These included tests of the MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft as a potential carrier onboard delivery aircraft and the first launch and trap of an unmanned drone, the X-47B.