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Crews fire up a cluster of F/A-18 Super Hornets every hour as part of pre-flight preparation on the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2017. The Bush is launching air strikes on the Islamic State.
Crews fire up a cluster of F/A-18 Super Hornets every hour as part of pre-flight preparation on the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2017. The Bush is launching air strikes on the Islamic State. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
Crews fire up a cluster of F/A-18 Super Hornets every hour as part of pre-flight preparation on the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2017. The Bush is launching air strikes on the Islamic State.
Crews fire up a cluster of F/A-18 Super Hornets every hour as part of pre-flight preparation on the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2017. The Bush is launching air strikes on the Islamic State. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
A crew makes final flight preparations on F/A-18 Super Hornets aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, on April 19, 2017. The Bush has launched air strikes against the Islamic State from the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.
A crew makes final flight preparations on F/A-18 Super Hornets aboard the USS George H.W. Bush, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, on April 19, 2017. The Bush has launched air strikes against the Islamic State from the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
An F/A-18 Super Hornet's engine roars to life as the pilot prepares to enter the runway aboard the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2017. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is launching fighter jets to bomb Islamic State targets.
An F/A-18 Super Hornet's engine roars to life as the pilot prepares to enter the runway aboard the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2017. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is launching fighter jets to bomb Islamic State targets. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
A Super Hornet taxis onto the runway of the USS George H.W. Bush to fly a mission in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2017.
A Super Hornet taxis onto the runway of the USS George H.W. Bush to fly a mission in the Persian Gulf on April 19, 2017. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
A Super Hornet takes off from the USS George H.W. Bush on April 19, 2017. The aircraft carrier was launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group from the Persian Gulf.
A Super Hornet takes off from the USS George H.W. Bush on April 19, 2017. The aircraft carrier was launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group from the Persian Gulf. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
An F/A-18 Super Hornet approaches the USS George H.W. Bush on April 19, 2017. The Bush was launching sorties against the Islamic State group from the Persian Gulf.
An F/A-18 Super Hornet approaches the USS George H.W. Bush on April 19, 2017. The Bush was launching sorties against the Islamic State group from the Persian Gulf. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
After completing a mission, a Super Hornet zooms toward the USS George H.W. Bush's deck on April 19, 2017. The aircraft carrier was launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group almost around the clock.
After completing a mission, a Super Hornet zooms toward the USS George H.W. Bush's deck on April 19, 2017. The aircraft carrier was launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group almost around the clock. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
Arresting cables yank the speeding Super Hornet to a stop on the USS George H.W. Bush on April 19, 2017, as a crew prepares to unhook the lines. Ensuring pilots safely take off and land on such a tight space requires the massive effort of hundreds of sailors at any given time.
Arresting cables yank the speeding Super Hornet to a stop on the USS George H.W. Bush on April 19, 2017, as a crew prepares to unhook the lines. Ensuring pilots safely take off and land on such a tight space requires the massive effort of hundreds of sailors at any given time. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
After landing, the pilot wheels the F/A-18 Super Hornet off the George H.W. Bush's runway on April 19, 2017.
After landing, the pilot wheels the F/A-18 Super Hornet off the George H.W. Bush's runway on April 19, 2017. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)

Supersonic F/A-18 Super Hornets soar off the USS George H.W. Bush to bomb Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria at all hours of the day and night.

Their pilots speak almost affectionately when describing the Super Hornet’s speed, maneuverability and destructive power.

This is the second time the Bush has been deployed to battle ISIS. The first time was in 2014.

The Bush launched airstrikes against ISIS in February while in the Mediterranean, then traveled to the Persian Gulf to continue the assault with the Super Hornets.

wyland.scott@stripes.com

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