Navy Lt. Anise Crane, a doctor at the naval hospital, waves goodbye to a friend onboard the USS Nimitz. Photo by Chris Stone

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz deployed from North Island on Monday morning along with the ships and aviation units of its strike group .

The Navy said the more than 6,000 sailors assigned to group will provide maritime security, maintain freedom of the seas in accordance with international law and customs, and operate with international partners and allies to promote regional stability and prosperity.

“The carrier strike group team is trained and ready,” said Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of the group. “The men and women of Carrier Strike Group 11 have demonstrated exceptional tactical and technical expertise, teamwork, and toughness. We are honored to answer the call and operate forward.”

The USS Nimitz based in Bremerton, Washington conducted training in the San Diego area and left for deployment June 8. Photo by Chris Stone

The strike group includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton and guided-missile destroyers USS Halsey, USS John Paul Jones, USS Sterett and USS Ralph Johnson, with some of those ships deploying from Peal Harbor and Everett, WA.

Deployed on the carrier are the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron 22, the “Mighty Shrikes” of Strike Fighter Squadron 94, the “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron 137, the “Death Rattlers” of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron 323, the “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron 139, the “Sun Kings” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron 116, the “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 and the “Battle Cats” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73.

The Navy said all personnel assigned to the the group completed a 14-day quarantine ashore and were tested for COVID-19 prior to getting underway with their respective units.

The Nimitz Strike Group last deployed in 2017. Since then, the Nimitz completed a 15-month overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton.

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