USS Carl Vinson headed home

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson
has crossed the international date line and is on its way home after serving in
the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf, the Navy announced Monday.

Command over the vessel has transferred from the Fifth and Seventh
fleets, which cover the Middle East and western Pacific, to the Third Fleet,
which is responsible for the eastern and northern Pacific, according to the
Navy.

No homecoming date has been publicly announced.

“The dedication demonstrated by every sailor up and down the chain of
command was the key factor in accomplishing every mission objective for our
time in the Fifth and Seventh fleets,” said the Vinson's commanding officer,
Capt. Kent Whalen. “With our return to Third Fleet, our focus may have changed
but our mission-ready mindset continues.”

The Vinson is accompanied by the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey and
guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill.

Fliers, ground crew and aircraft of Air Wing 17 are serving aboard the
aircraft carrier, after having flown more than 1,000 sorties in support of NATO
forces in Afghanistan.

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