NORFOLK, Va. - Nearly 4,500 sailors from Carrier Strike Group 9 arrived in Norfolk Thursday as the USS George Washington returned after serving seven years as the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.
The George Washington’s arrival to Norfolk was part of a three-carrier swap with the carriers USS Ronald Reagan and USS Theodore Roosevelt in San Diego. Key personnel, including the commanding officer, executive officer, and those related to unique systems, remained with their ships, WTKR reported.
Following the George Washington's arrival in Norfolk, nearly two-thirds of the crew will return to San Diego and embark onboard the Roosevelt.
Once in Norfolk the George Washington will prepare for its mid-life refueling complex overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding in 2017.
The George Washington traveled 52,064 miles on its seven-month voyage to Naval Station Norfolk, stopping in San Diego for a 10-day crew swap turnover with the USS Ronald Reagan in August. The George Washington then sailed around South America, participating in Southern Seas 2015 and UNITAS 2015.