|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Mar 29, 2017 11:52 AM EDT|
(Photo : US Navy) An F/A-18E Super Hornet from VFA-31 "Tomcatters" launches from the USS George H.W. Bush.
Strike jets aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on March 28 launched their first airstrikes against ISIS forces in Iraq a week after the supercarrier took up station in the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf.
The precision strike missions by the four Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet squadrons aboard the carrier were launched in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). OIR is the U.S. military's operational name for the military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
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OIR is being implemented as part of the commitment made by the U.S. and its partner nations worldwide to ensure the elimination of ISIS.
The four squadrons belong to Carrier Strike Group 2 (CSG-2 or CARSTRKGRU 2). Bush is the flagship of CSG-2 and is currently deployed to the United States Fifth Fleet and Sixth Fleet.
"The superb efforts made by the men and women of this strike group will be critical to continuing this fight," said Rear Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, CSG 2 commander.
"The George H.W. Bush CSG brings a flexible, mobile and lethal multi-mission strike force to work with our allies and partner nations to engage ISIS, and the threat they pose to the region and the greater international community."
Adm. Whitesell said the mission against ISIS is what CSG-2 has been training for.
"We're ready to support the mission wherever and whenever we're needed. The George H.W. Bush CSG brings a flexible, mobile and lethal multi-mission strike force to work with our allies and partner nations to engage ISIS."
"We have a crew of highly-trained, warfighting professionals ready for this mission, and I know that we, along with our allies and regional partners, will be successful."
There are 6,000 officers and men in CSG-2. On this deployment, CSG-2 consists of the Bush; the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG-58) and USS Truxtun (DDG-103) which belong to Destroyer Squadron 22, and the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and USS Hue City (CG-66).
The sharp end of CSG-2 is Carrier Air Wing 8, which includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 "Fighting Black Lions"; VFA-31 "Tomcatters"; VFA-87 "Golden Warriors" and VFA-37 "Ragin Bulls."
Carrier Air Wing 8 also consists of 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."
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