The aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and its carrier strike group are heading out on deployment from San Diego Monday, the service announced.

The cruise will entail several firsts for the 41-year-old carrier and the Navy.

Carl Vinson will be the first carrier strike group to deploy with the F-35C Lightning II fighter jet, as well as the CMV-22 Osprey, which is replacing the C-2A Greyhound for the carrier’s onboard delivery mission, according to the Navy.

While officials have not disclosed details regarding where the carrier and its strike group are headed, West Coast ships typically steam toward the waters of the Indo-Pacific.

It’s been a while since Carl Vinson got operationally underway. The ship entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, in 2019 for a $367 million, 17-month docking planned incremental availability, where the ship was retrofitted to accommodate the F-35C and received maintenance on its rudders, shafts, tanks and crew living spaces, among other work, according to the Navy.

The carrier later arrived at its new homeport in San Diego.

Joining Carl Vinson on the deployment are a whole mess of destroyers from Destroyer Squadron 1, including Higgins, O’Kane, Chafee, Dewey, Stockdale and Michael Murphy.

The guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain rounds out the surface elements of the strike group.

Carrier Air Wing 2 is also along for the ride, a unit that includes Strike Fighter Squadron 2, Strike Fighter Squadron 113, Strike Fighter Squadron 147, Strike Fighter Squadron 192, Fleet Logistics Maritime Squadron 30, Electronic Attack Squadron 136, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 113, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 78.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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