Norfolk, Va. (WTKR)- More than 5,000 Sailors attached to Carrier Strike Group 8 left Naval Station Norfolk on Monday morning for a seven-month deployment.
The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, commanded by Capt. Ryan B. Scholl, is joined by the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio and guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley, USS Gravely and USS Gonzalez.
Commanded by Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, the Harry S. Truman CSG is comprised of the Truman with the embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Anzio and staff from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, whose ships include the Bulkeley, Gravely and Gonzalez.
The previously planned deployment comes just days after the deadly terror attacks in France.
"I think there's a resolve in us to support our coalition partner in France in their tragic event that happened in Paris and as we go over I know that we will be ready to support all levels wherever we go," Captain Scholl stated.
Lori Davis found herself saying goodbye to two loved ones Monday morning: her son, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Davis, and her husband, Lt. Commander Kent Davis.
"I'm feeling good. I’m happy they have each other and they’ll have each other over the holidays and we’ve been there done this so many times. I don’t want to say I’m used to it because that’s not the case, but I’m extremely proud that they both serve in the Navy and that’s what my son has chosen for his path," Davis commented.
CVW-7 consists of nine aircraft squadrons:
- The "Pukin' Dogs" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 flying F/A-18E Super Hornets;
- The "Jolly Rogers" of VFA-103 flying F/A-18F Super Hornets;
- The "Rampagers" of VFA-83 flying F/A-18C Hornets;
- The "Fist of the Fleet" of VFA-25 flying F/A-18E Super Hornets;
- The "Nightdippers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 flying MH-60S Sea Hawks;
- The "Rawhides" of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron (VRC) 40, Det. 1 flying C-2A Greyhounds;
- The "Wallbangers" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, flying E-2C Hawkeyes;
- The "Patriots" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140 flying F/A-18G Growlers;
- The "Proud Warriors" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72 flying MH-60R Sea Hawks
While deployed, the strike group will serve in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage also left Naval Station Norfolk on Monday for an eight-month, independent Ballistic Missile Defense deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.