US Navy Carrier USS George H. W. Bush Launches Strikes against Raqqa from Mediterranean Sea
The U. S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) has been redeployed from the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf and has begun airstrikes against Islamic State targets at Raqqa (the so-called capital of the Islamic State) and the surrounding territory.
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The Bush moved into the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on June 5 and launched its first airstrikes involving Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet the next day.
Its operations in the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) demonstrate the capability of the navy to conduct precision strikes on ISIS targets from multiple theaters, highlighting the flexibility of the navy's globally deployed force.
"We are resuming a relentless pursuit of ISIS targets, while reinforcing our commitment to partners and allies in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations," said Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 2.
The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group resumed strike missions in support of OIR from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea after conducting operations in support of OIR and maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in the Persian Gulf.
OIR is the U.S. military's operational name for the military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It's being carried out as part of the commitment made by the U.S. and its partner nations worldwide to ensure the elimination of the Islamic State or ISIS.
Carrier Strike Group 2 (CSG-2 or CARSTRKGRU 2) consists of the flagship USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) with embarked staffs of CSG-2, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, and the squadrons of CVW-8; guided-missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and USS Hue City (CG-66) and DESRON 22 Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG-58) and USS Truxtun (DDG-103).
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."