U.S.S. Stennis deploys for 8 months to Persian Gulf

U.S.S. Stennis deploys for 8 months to Persian Gulf

U.S.S. John Stennis based at U.S. Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 27 at 8:37 AM

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier U.S.S. John C. Stennis departs Bremerton Monday for an eight-month deployment to the Persian Gulf.

For the sailors aboard the Stennis, the deployment comes four months ahead of schedule.

The John C. Stennis Strike Group has been home since March, when they returned from a seven-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.

This deployment is also twice as long as originally planned.

Sailors must be on board the U.S.S. Stennis by 10 a.m. The aircraft carrier leaves U.S. Naval Base Kitsap between 3 and 4 p.m.

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told sailors he and the country needs them.

"I understand that it's tough. We're asking an awful lot of each of you. But frankly, you are the best I have and when the world calls we have to respond," Panetta said.

The deployment comes at a time when tensions between Iran and Israel are high. Military experts have said deploying the Stennis to the Persian Gulf may deter actions from either side.

The John C. Stennis Strike Group is comprised of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 and USS Mobile Bay (CG53).  CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, and Fleet Logistics Combat Support Squadron (VRC) 30 from Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, Calif.; Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, VFA-41, VFA-97, and VFA-192, from NAS Lemoore, Calif.; and Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 from NAS Whidbey Island, Wash.

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