Powerful carrier group preps for Pacific duty

Spearheaded by the Navy’s supercarrier Carl Vinson, a strike group with more than 7,500 sailors will begin departing San Diego and Hawaii next week for a deployment to the Western Pacific.

The vessels will start pulling out of the piers on Jan. 5 and 6, according to a joint statement by U.S. Pacific Fleet air and surface warfare commanders.

The Nimitz-class Vinson will deploy from North Island on Jan. 5.  The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Wayne E. Meyer will depart from San Diego Naval Base the next day.

Homeported in Pearl Harbor, the guided-missile destroyer Michael Murphy will join the flotilla later in January on their way to the Western Pacific.

The group includes the “Black Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4, the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 78, the “Bounty Hunters” of Strike Fighter Squadron 2, the “Blue Blasters” of Strike Fighter Squadron 34, the “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron 137, the “Golden Dragons” of Strike Fighter Squadron 192, the “Black Eagles” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 113, the “Gauntlets” of Electronic Attack Squadron 136 and the “Providers” of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30. 


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