The USS Nimitiz headed out Saturday morning for six to 10 months in the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf.
It's the first major deployment of the Nimitz from its Everett home port. The Nimitz arrived last year, replacing the Lincoln that left in 2011 for nuclear refueling at a shipyard in Virginia.
Commissioned in 1975, the Nimitz is the oldest operating Navy aircraft carrier. It has a crew of 3,000 that grows by 2,000 more when it is joined at sea by its air wing at San Diego.