The USS Nimitz leaves San Diego on March 29 for the deployment. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The USS Nimitz Strike Group will stop in San Diego next week as it returns from a six-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, the Navy announced Thursday.

The strike group consists of a mix of ships and aircraft based in San Diego, Bremerton, WA, and other locations.

The guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton and the guided-missile destroyer USS Howard are returning to San Diego, while the Nimitz and guided-missile destroyers USS Shoup and USS Kidd with return to Washington.

A fourth destroyer, the USS Pinkney, is is scheduled to return to San Diego later this month.

Also returning on Dec. 5 is Carrier Air Wing 11, with includes fighters from Lemoore, CA, and aircraft and helicopters from San Diego, Norfolk and Whidbey Island, WA.

During the deployment the strike group sailed more than 78,000 miles, flew 1,322 combat sorties into Iraq and Syria, and dropped 904 pieces of ordnance.

“I am very proud of the entire strike group and all that our sailors and Marines accomplished during this deployment,” said Rear Adm. Gregory Harris, commander of the group. “The team demonstrated the professionalism, strength and resolve of the U.S. Navy around the world.”

“They battled through the intense heat of the Arabian Gulf to conduct operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve,” Harris noted. “We also enhanced partnerships with international friends and allies, and now we can get back to our families and enjoy well-deserved time with them.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.