The US Navy Strike Group, led by USS George H.W. Bush, has begun delivering airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq from the eastern Mediterranean after a two-month gap.
USS George H.W. Bush and its carrier strike group arrived in the Mediterranean Sea on February 2, replacing the carrier strike group led by USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group had last hit ISIS targets on December 12, 2016.
On Monday, warplanes from USS George H.W. Bush launched strikes against targets in Syria as part of the ongoing Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
USNI News reports:
“By defeating violent extremists in Iraq and Syria, we are simultaneously supporting two separate geographic combatant commands. We remain committed to defeating [ISIS], committed to our allies and partners, and committed to global security,” Vice Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, said in a Navy statement.
The Bush Strike Group entered the Mediterranean on Feb. 2, 2017 and spent a few days at the U.S. naval base at Souda Bay, Greece before moving to launch sorties.
The 6,000 member CSG is embarked on Bush, guided missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG-58), USS Truxtun (DDG-103), guided missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and USS Hue City (CG-66).
The strike group deployed with Carrier Air Wing 8, which includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 “Fighting Black Lions”; VFA-31 “Tomcatters”; VFA-87 “Golden Warriors”; VFA-37 “Ragin Bulls”; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 “Lancers”; Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124 “Bear Aces”; Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron (HSM) 70 “Spartans”; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 “Tridents”; and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides”.