NAPLES, Italy – The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, which departed Norfolk, Va., earlier this month, has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean and into 6th Fleet waters. This is the maiden voyage for the Navy’s newest and last Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered behemoth.

The carrier will lead the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, which will conduct a variety of operations during the deployment. It is expected to arrive at 6th Fleet headquarters here in Naples early next month.

Aside from the new carrier, the group’s deployment features another milestone. Rear Adm. Nora Tyson is the first woman in Navy history to command a carrier strike group. Tyson took command of the strike group in July.

“As far as the trailblazing piece, I understand I am the first woman on the job, but I’m a professional just like my fellow officers are, and my fellow strike group commanders,” she told Virginia’s WTKR news station last summer.

A 6th Fleet spokesman would not give details of the group’s schedule at sea, but the group left Norfolk, Va., on May 11, and is conducting an exercise with allies off the coast of England this week, according to the Navy.

Later this year, the group will move into the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet territory to continue its deployment.

The strike group consists of about 6,000 sailors, five ships and eight aircraft squadrons. The deployment is part of a rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters worldwide, according to the Navy.

Twitter: @Stripes_GeoffZ

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