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USS Carl Vinson Could Become Part Of Iraq Air Campaign

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81 maneuvers during an air power demonstration over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

The San Diego-based USS Carl Vinson is slated for a 10-month deployment at the end of August. But the Vinson is on standby to depart earlier, if the Navy needs the aircraft carrier for the military's Iraq air campaign.

Naval Air Forces spokeswoman Cmdr. Jeannie Groeneveld told the Military Times that the Vinson "is on ready standby as the surge carrier."

Rand defines a surge carrier as one that is not currently deployed...

...but able to provide additional forward presence as requested by theater commanders.

The Vinson will deploy to the Navy's 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility, which includes the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf.

Currently, Navy ships involved in the U.S. military's Iraq air campaign include USS George H.W. Bush, USS Bataan, USS Gunston Hall, USS Philippine Sea, USS Arleigh Burke, USS O’Kane and USS Roosevelt — which are all in the Persian Gulf.

At a recent pre-deployment briefing held in the Vinson's hangar bay, Commanding Officer Capt. Kent Whalen explained to USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs:

"Deploying and leaving loved ones behind never gets easy. The day we leave is going to be rough for everybody, but going out to sea is what we do."

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