SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - After 10 months at sea, service members with the USS Nimitz returned to San Diego on Friday.
Parent DJ O'Grady stood by on Harbor Island to watch the warship sail into the San Diego Bay.
"We were waving and hoping they would see us," she told ABC 10News. Her daughter is a medic on board the ship.
Approximately 5,000 Sailors and Marines were assigned to the carrier strike group which was the first to set sail after the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Service members are returning to a very different home from the one that they left. There's a new president. Hundreds of thousands more people have died from the virus.
Friday afternoon, commanding officers spoke to reporters by phone.
"This deployment during a global pandemic certainly had its share of unique challenges," stated Captain Max Clark.
According to commanding officers, extreme safety measures were reportedly taken which resulted in a deployment that was free from any COVID-19 cases.
"We did a few safe haven port visits in Guam and in Oman and in Bahrain to get a chance for some repairs and resupply and a little time for rest and relaxation for the crews and we executed those within a bubble and were able to successfully prevent COVID-19 infection to any member of the strike group throughout the entire deployment," added Rear Adm. James Kirk.
O'Grady's daughter will stay on the ship with many other service members when it leaves San Diego for its final destination in its homeport in Washington.
"Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to see [our daughter] because of COVID-19," O'Grady said.
Her aunt added that the family will plan a trip to see her very soon.