George H.W. Bush carrier group deploys

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Nearly 6,000 sailors attached to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike group have deployed to the Middle East and Mediterranean.

Media outlets report that hundreds of friends and family waved goodbye Saturday to the thousands onboard, many of whom lined the rails.

The strike group includes the USS George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing 8, Destroyer Squadron 22 along with guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon, USS Truxtun. It also includes Mayport, Florida- based guided-missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea and USS Hue City.

Delays during maintenance pushed the Bush’s expected deployment back by about a month. The carrier group fills the gap left in the Middle East by the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which returned to Norfolk three weeks ago.