George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Homecoming

Carrier Air Wing 8 will fly off USS George H.W. Bush Friday, Nov. 14, for their homecoming. USS George H.W. Bush will return to homeport as scheduled Nov. 15. Go inside the carrier strike group’s deployment here. You can watch USS George H.W. Bush’s homecoming Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m. ET here.


By Rear Admiral DeWolfe H. Miller III
George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Commander

This week, the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group will return to Norfolk after a remarkable deployment where our ships and aircraft engaged in continuous combat for 8 months.  We participated in Theater Security Cooperation in numerous countries, helped with the Ukrainian Crisis in the Black Sea and led the Special Operations Forces take-down of a hijacked Libyan tanker in the Mediterranean.  We were involved in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and most recently, Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria.  All of these missions were well chronicled in the news.

ARABIAN GULF (Oct. 11, 2014) Sailors conduct flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

ARABIAN GULF (Oct. 11, 2014) Sailors conduct flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

I had the great privilege to observe something that wasn’t as well documented:  Amazing Sailors – the lifeblood of our Navy – performing magnificent feats in very demanding and challenging conditions on a daily basis.  For a 4 month period, temperatures never dipped below 100 degrees and frequent sand storms would reduce visibility to less than a mile.  Yet Sailors, whether on a flight deck, on a navigation bridge or in an engine room would execute their duties with pride and professionalism.  They remained focused while performing unforgiving tasks such as loading ordnance on an FA-18 or launching aircraft off a flight deck into the night.

Their professionalism and dedication to duty were truly inspirational.  Their individual talents were combined to create a highly functional and extremely efficient team that succeeded in combat and answered the Nation’s call.

I know that they were well supported by friends and family members ashore.  Spouses, children and parents who for the last 9 months ran the daily chores of a household, wrote countless emails and provided much needed encouragement.  Their dedication to duty is equally amazing.  For they too, serve.

STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR (Nov. 6, 2014) The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), left, the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103), center, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), right, transit the Strait of Gibraltar.

STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR (Nov. 6, 2014) The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), left, the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103), center, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), right, transit the Strait of Gibraltar.

The USS George H.W. Bush, USS Roosevelt, USS Truxtun and USS Philippine Sea will soon return to port, and the squadrons of CVW-8 will fly to their bases.  Families will happily reunite in what some who live in port cities may call a “routine” homecoming; however, for the Sailors and families of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group, it’s anything but routine.  I know you join me in expressing gratitude for their service.

Welcome home, stay safe and God bless.

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George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Homecoming