The aircraft carrier Nimitz, here crossing the Pacific Ocean, made its next-to-last stop Dec. 12 before returning to Everett, Wash., dropping off two embarked units in San Diego. (MCSN Aiyana S. Paschal/Navy)
The aircraft carrier Nimitz dropped off two embarked units in San Diego on Thursday after an 8½-month cruise through the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Pacific.
Carrier Air Wing 11 and Destroyer Squadron 23 disembarked at Naval Air Station North Island. The ship next will head back to its home port in Everett, Wash.
“Nimitz Strike Group successfully completed almost three months of Operation Enduring Freedom close-air support to coalition ground troops, and provided a flexible and capable response option to deter Syria,” strike group commander Rear Adm. Michael S. White said in a Navy release.
The carrier deployed in March and was scheduled to make its way home in late August after providing support to troops in Afghanistan.
When the Syria crisis heated up over the summer, Nimitz and several other ships maintained a presence in the Mediteranean throughout September and October in case of a possible strike on the country.
“I am so proud of our sailors and Marines, who showed remarkable resiliency through several extensions with limited time in port and met all tasking,” White said.
Throughout the deployment, CWV-11 racked up 9,344 aircraft launches and more than 24,000 flight hours.
“It’s great to be home and reunited with all of our loved ones,” CVW-11 commander Capt. Kevin Mannix said. “My hat’s off to every member of the air wing for making this a successful deployment.”