The aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on Wednesday after a 13-month split deployment to Europe and the Middle East. (MC1 Julie Matyascik/ Navy)
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NORFOLK, VA. — The aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower returned to its home port Wednesday following an unusual split deployment.
More than 5,000 sailors attached to the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group — which includes the carrier, the cruiser Hue City, Carrier Air Wing 7 and Destroyer Squadron 28 — returned to either Norfolk or Mayport, Fla., after a 13-month split deployment to Europe and the Middle East.
That time period includes a roughly two-month return to Norfolk in December so it could resurface its flight deck and have other maintenance performed.
The ship was charged with replacing the carrier John C. Stennis in the Middle East following that maintenance when the West Coast-based aircraft carrier Nimitz experienced mechanical problems that prevented it from replacing the Stennis.
“I am so proud of this winning team and the spectacular work they have done. No one could have accomplished the mission better,” said Capt. Marcus Hitchcock, Ike’s commanding officer, in a Navy news release.