Norfolk, Va. – Nearly 60 aircraft and more than 160 personnel from Carrier Air Wing Seven aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower will return to their bases at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field and NAS Oceana Tuesday, December 18 following a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
The air wing is returning earlier than originally scheduled in order to complete flight deck resurfacing on Eisenhower. They will redeploy next spring.
Returning to Chambers Field are the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Forty (VRC-40), Det. 3 and the “Bluetails” of Airborne Early Warning Squadron One Twenty One (VAW-121). The Rawhides operate two C-2A “Greyhound” Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft carrying passengers, parts, and mail and the Bluetails fly the E-2C “Hawkeye” airborne command and control aircraft.
Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Five (HS-5), the “Nightdippers” will fly into Chambers Field Wednesday, December 19 with their H/SH-60F/H “Sea Hawk” helicopters.
Arriving at NAS Oceana are the “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron Eighty Three (VFA-83), the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Wildcats” of VFA-131 and the “Pukin’ Dogs” from VFA-143. All fly the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet.
CVW-7 aircraft flew more than 8,000 sorties of which over 3,000 were combat missions. They amassed a total of 16,502 flight hours while delivering 10,000 pounds of ordnance providing maritime support operations for coalition ground forces while participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.