The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its escort ships have left the waters around the Middle East to begin the long voyage home from deployment, the Navy confirmed Friday.
Carrier Air Wing 17 has been conducting strikes on Islamic State targets for the last six months. The Vinson Strike Group was relieved Monday in the Arabian Gulf by the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
“These operations contributed significantly to coalition efforts that have blunted the momentum of ISIS, and severely degraded their combat capability,” said Rear Adm. Chris Grady, the commander of the strike group. “Since combat operations began in October of last year, ISIS is no longer able to fight like an army but like a band of terrorists with a corrupt ideology.”
The Navy said aircraft aboard the Vinson conducted 12,300 sorties — including 2,383 combat missions, and dropped 869 precision guided bombs.
During the height of the battle, a website believed to be friendly to ISIS published a list of 100 U.S. military personnel, including names, photos and purported addresses. Four officers in charge of aviation aboard the Vinson appeared on the list.
The ships will conduct operations in the Western Pacific Ocean while on the way home, according to the Navy.
— City News Service
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