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    Carrier Air Wing 8 Returns from Deployment



    Courtesy Story

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)           

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – “Team Factory” of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 returned to their home base Naval Air Station Oceana on January 16, 2024, following an eight-month deployment with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 to the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operation.

    Following the completion of a four-week composite training unit exercise, CVW-8 and her 9 squadrons deployed on May 2, 2023, embarked aboard the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) for its maiden deployment.

    While embarked, members of the Air Wing participated in 17 bi-lateral and international exercises which saw them conducting flight operations from as far North as the Arctic Circle all the way to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, sailing over 79,500 nautical miles in the process. The air wing flew more than 17,800 flight hours, totaling more than 10,300 sorties and 8,730 carrier arrestment landings. CVW-8 sailors maintained and operated aircraft at the highest levels of mission capability while seamlessly integrating their procedures with the most advanced aircraft carrier technology during sustained deployed operations. They set the standard for operating on the most capable, adaptable, and lethal combat platforms in the world.

    "The numerous operational achievements achieved on this highly successful deployment are remarkable and were unquestionably vital to security abroad and strategic national aims,” said Capt. Dan Catlin, the Commanding Officer of CVW-8. “However, what I am most proud of is the teamwork, resiliency, and dedication displayed by the truly exceptional Sailors and Officers that earned those achievements and the families back at home who supported them. I am inspired by what they accomplished, the values they champion, and honored to have had the privilege of serving our great Nation with them on this historic deployment."

    CSG-12 was on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.
    The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is comprised of its flagship and namesake, the Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8), Destroyer Squadron Two (DESRON-2), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS McFaul (DDG 74) and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).

    The squadrons of CVW-8 embarked aboard Gerald R. Ford are the “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9, the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70, the “Bear Aces” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 124, the “Ragin’ Bulls” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37, the “Blacklions” of VFA-213, the “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87, the “Tomcatters” of VFA-31, the “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, and the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40.

    Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.



    Date Taken: 01.16.2024
    Date Posted: 01.16.2024 23:35
    Story ID: 461897
    Location: ATLANTIC OCEAN

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