USS Bush returns home after battling ISIS
The USS George H.W. Bush is set to arrive at Norfolk, Va., on Monday, finishing a seven-month deployment during which it launched airstrikes against the Islamic State group from the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean.
The Bush strike group’s 7,000 sailors were deployed on Jan. 21 to join Operation Inherent Resolve, a U.S.-led effort to fight ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan.
The strike group provided air support to coalition ground forces as they drove ISIS from the Iraqi city of Mosul, which the militants had controlled for three years.
The air strikes also helped U.S.-backed Syrian forces push into Raqqa, ISIS’ self-declared capital in Syria. In all, the Bush launched more than 1,900 combat sorties and dropped about 1,700 pieces of ordnance, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
This was the carrier’s second anti-ISIS deployment. In 2014, the Bush launched the first airstrikes when the U.S. intervention began.
The USS Nimitz took over on Aug. 1 and is now launching sorties from the Persian Gulf. The Bush took part in Saxon Warrior, a multinational maritime exercise near the British coastline, before heading back to Norfolk.