Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group deploys - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group deploys

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departed San Diego Friday for deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East.

The vessels in the strike force include the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, and guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley, USS Sterett and USS Dewey, carrying around 6,200 sailors between them.

The aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 17, which includes nine fixed-wing and helicopter squadrons, will be aboard the Vinson.

The U.S. has been conducting air strikes in Iraq against the Islamic State, an extremist group that has taken control of several cities in the northern part of the country, and is accused of genocide against religious minorities. It's unclear if the air units aboard the Vinson will participate in the strikes.

The carrier returned from its previous deployment in May 2012 and underwent a seven-month overhaul.

It is named after Carl Vinson, who served in Congress for 50 years, including 29 as chairman of the House Naval Affairs and Armed Services Committee.
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