Story by Robert Gensic on 01/21/2017Led 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".
The deployment is part of a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, provide crisis response capability, increase theater security cooperation and forward naval presence in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.