Nuclear-Powered Supercarrier USS Carl Vinson And Strike Group Deploy
The nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group left San Diego Monday, marking the first time a carrier strike group has deployed with the F-35C Lightning II fighter jet and Navy CMV- 22B Osprey.
The Osprey is replacing the C-2A Greyhound for the carrier's mission, which is to "support of global maritime security operations," according to a statement from the Navy.
The Carl Vinson returned to its home port of Naval Air Station North Island last September, following 17 months of retrofitting at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at a cost of $367 million.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was docked in Bremerton, Washington, while undergoing a complete system retrofit to accommodate the F-35C Lightning II stealth fighters. Additional efforts while in Washington included upgrades to crew living spaces and maintenance on the ship's hull, rudders and shafts.
The USS Carl Vinson can carry more than 5,000 crew members and 65 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft; and has the speed, agility and maneuverability to travel more than 5,000 nautical miles in less than seven days.
It was launched in 1980 and in 2009 became the flagship of Carrier Strike Group One, based out of San Diego. The supercarrier gained notoriety for transporting Osama bin Laden's body to be buried at sea in 2011.
Joining the Carl Vinson on the deployment are multiple destroyers from Destroyer Squadron 1.