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Aviation ordnance members move ordinance across the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, on Aug. 10, 2014, which it was underway in the Persian Gulf.

Aviation ordnance members move ordinance across the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, on Aug. 10, 2014, which it was underway in the Persian Gulf. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

Aviation ordnance members move ordinance across the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, on Aug. 10, 2014, which it was underway in the Persian Gulf.

Aviation ordnance members move ordinance across the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, on Aug. 10, 2014, which it was underway in the Persian Gulf. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet launches from the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, underway in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 11, 2014.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet launches from the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, underway in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 11, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 lands aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 10, 2014.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 lands aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 10, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet launches from the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, while underway in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 11, 2014.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet launches from the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, while underway in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 11, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

A U.S. Navy F/A-18  Super Hornet on final approach to land aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, while it was underway in the the Persian Gulf, Aug. 10, 2014.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet on final approach to land aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, while it was underway in the the Persian Gulf, Aug. 10, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

An SH-60 Seahawk helicopter lands aboard the USS George H.W. Bush during a deployment in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 11, 2014.

An SH-60 Seahawk helicopter lands aboard the USS George H.W. Bush during a deployment in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 11, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

Sailors walk across the flight deck looking for foreign objects on the ground that can cause damage to aircraft aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, Aug 10, 2014.

Sailors walk across the flight deck looking for foreign objects on the ground that can cause damage to aircraft aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, Aug 10, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

Aircraft maintenance personnel try to communicate with each other over the loud roar of engines on the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, while the ship is underway in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 10, 2014.

Aircraft maintenance personnel try to communicate with each other over the loud roar of engines on the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush, while the ship is underway in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 10, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

Aviation ordnanceman set a missile down after removing it from a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, underway in the Persian Gulf, on Aug. 10, 2014.

Aviation ordnanceman set a missile down after removing it from a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, underway in the Persian Gulf, on Aug. 10, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

An EA-6B Prowler flies over the USS George H.W. Bush, after being waved off from its approach to the carrier, Aug. 10, 2014.

An EA-6B Prowler flies over the USS George H.W. Bush, after being waved off from its approach to the carrier, Aug. 10, 2014. (Hendrick Simoes/Stars and Stripes)

The USS George H.W. Bush continues to support airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq with its primary weapon — the flight deck.

In June, the ship was re-tasked from supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and ordered to the Persian Gulf. As the militant Islamic State group swept across parts of northern Iraq, aircraft from the Bush began flying armed patrol missions over the country.

F/A-18s launched from the Bush are among aircraft conducting airstrikes in Iraq since President Barack Obama authorized them on Aug. 7 to protect U.S. personnel and support aid efforts for members of an Iraqi minority trapped by the militants.

The Bush is in the middle of a nine-month deployment to the 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility.

simoes.hendrick@stripes.com

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