7,500 sailors and airmen deploy with Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group

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SAN DIEGO — The aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and destroyer Wayne E. Meyer are scheduled to set off from San Diego Thursday on deployments in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The Carl Vinson will lead a carrier strike group that will include the Meyer, San Diego-based cruiser Lake Champlain and destroyer Michael Murphy, which will join the flotilla from its home port in Hawaii. The Lake Champlain is scheduled to shove off on Friday.

In all, the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group will consist of 7,500 sailors and airmen attached to various squadrons under Carrier Air Wing 2.

The Navy said the strike group will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts, conducting exercises with partner nations in the western Pacific and Indian oceans.

The Vinson, named after a Georgian who served in Congress for over 50 years, is best known as the vessel that received the body of Osama bin Laden after he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan in 2011. During its last deployment, a website believed to be friendly to the Islamic State published the names of 100 military personnel who took part in strikes against the terrorist organization, four of whom were serving on the Vinson.

The aircraft carrier ended that deployment in June of last year.

The Lake Champlain honors a decisive naval battle in the War of 1812. The Wayne E. Mayer is named for an admiral considered to be the father of the Aegis air defense system used by naval vessels.