Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) completed a six-month overseas deployment, returning to their homeport of San Diego at Naval Base Coronado and Naval Base San Diego Wed., May 23.
USS Carl Vinson serves as the flagship for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, led by Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, which also consists of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1.
“The successful completion of this deployment is a testament to the high quality of men and women who volunteer to serve in our Navy,” said Shannon. “Whether supporting U.S. and coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan; preventing piracy; or taking on our Navy’s tradition of ambassadorship during overseas port visits to Hong Kong, Dubai, India and Australia, our strike group Sailors represented our country with great distinction and honor.”
“This was the ship’s second deployment in 18 months, and the crew performed superbly,” said Vinson’s Commanding Officer Capt. Kent D. Whalen. “I could not be more proud of my crew.”
CVW-17 encompasses the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81, the “Stingers” of VFA-113, the “Redcocks” of VFA-22, the “Fists of the Fleet” of VFA-25, the “Garudas” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134, the “Tiger Tails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 and the “Red Lions” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 15.
Throughout the deployment, CSG-1 completed the following:
• Flew 1,085 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) missions, totaling 6,600 total flight hours. This included close air support missions, support for coalition ground forces, airborne electronic warfare missions and airborne command and control missions.
• Delivered 7,283 pounds of ordnance and expended 1,717 rounds of 20mm ammunition in support
• Conducted exercises with coalition countries and other nations, including Singapore, Britain, India
• 818 Sailors volunteered for 37 community relations projects and professional exchanges while
enjoying port visits in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, India and Australia.
• Carl Vinson earned the 2011 Commander Naval Air Forces Battle Efficiency (Battle “E”) award for West Coast-based aircraft carriers.
• Carl Vinson hosted former CBS Evening News anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent Dan Rather
for a three-day visit as the subject of a segment for the television news magazine: Dan Rather Reports. Halsey hosted Fox News Oliver North as part of the television news program “War Stories with Oliver North.”
• Carl Vinson sailed more than 55,600 nautical miles.
• 676 Sailors earned their Enlisted Surface and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist qualifications.
Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.