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Carrier Roosevelt’s air wing returning to Norfolk and Virginia Beach this weekend

Carrier Roosevelt’s air wing returning to Norfolk and Virginia Beach this weekend
By Mike Hixenbaugh
The Virginian-Pilot

More than 1,000 sailors will be returning to Hampton Roads this weekend with Carrier Air Wing One, which spent almost eight months flying off the deck of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt on combat missions in the Middle East.

The ship, though, won’t be returning to Norfolk. The Roosevelt is moving to San Diego as part of a three-carrier shift. The carrier George Washington will take its place in Norfolk in the coming weeks to begin its midlife overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding.

Jets and planes flew more than 9,100 missions off the Roosevelt during the deployment, including more than 10,618 combat flight hours on bombing raids against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

F/A-18 Super Hornet pilots dropped more than one million pounds of ordnance, including 1,085 bombs and 24 air-to-ground missiles, the Navy said in a news release.

This was the first operational deployment for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne command and control aircraft. Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 flew more than 1,900 flight hours and 439 combat sorties in support of the air campaign against the Islamic State.

“It takes every sailor and Marine on this ship and in the Air Wing to launch these aircraft into harm’s way and the professionalism and precision in which they performed was truly eye watering,” said Capt. Benjamin Hewlett, the air wing’s commander.

Super Hornet crews are scheduled to return to Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach on Sunday. Several other squadrons will be returning to Chambers Field at Norfolk Naval Station.

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