600 local Sailors to deploy from Mayport

USS Hue City, USS Philippine Sea set to leave Saturday

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Six hundred local Sailors are set to deploy this weekend from Naval Station Mayport. They will join thousands of other Sailors attached to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group to support maritime security operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

The two Jacksonville-based guided-missile destroyers leaving Saturday are the USS Hue City and the USS Philippine Sea. Both will depart Mayport within an hour of each other Saturday morning.

In all, 6,000 Sailors are involved with this weekend's deployment. The others will leave from Norfolk, Virginia. According to NS Mayport, this mission is expected to last six to seven months.

The deployment is part of a regular rotation to provide crises response capability and operate in international waters across the globe, along with other coalition maritime forces.

About the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group

Led by Commander, Carrier Strike Group 2, Rear Adm. Kenneth R. Whitesell, the GHWBCSG is comprised of the staff of CSG-2; USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77); the nine squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8; Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff and guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103); and Mayport-based guided missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Hue City (CG 66).

The squadrons of CVW-8 will depart bases including Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, NAS Whidbey Island, NAS Jacksonville, NAS Lemoore and Naval Station Norfolk. CVW-8 includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 "Fighting Black Lions"; VFA-31 "Tomcatters"; VFA-87 "Golden Warriors"; VFA-37 "Ragin Bulls"; 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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