SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group left its San Diego homeport Monday in what the Navy called a landmark deployment.
The deployment is being led by Carrier Strike Group 1, and it includes the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2. The deployment will have the advanced capabilities of the F-35C Lightning strike fighters and the Navy CMV-22B Osprey, the hybrid aircraft that has been seen in the sky above San Diego.
The deployment includes about 7,000 sailors, while the air wing involves 1,600 personnel and 80 aircraft.
The USS Carl Vinson is one of only 11 operational aircraft carriers in the Navy today. The carrier is almost in its 40th year of a roughly 50-ytear lifespan.
The Osprey is replacing the C-2A Greyhound for the carrier's mission, which is to "support of global maritime security operations," according to a statement from the Navy.
The Carl Vinson returned to its home port of Naval Air Station North Island last September, following 17 months of retrofitting at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at a cost of $367 million.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was docked in Bremerton, Washington, while undergoing a complete system retrofit to accommodate the F-35C Lightning II stealth fighters. Additional efforts while in Washington included upgrades to crew living spaces and maintenance on the ship's hull, rudders and shafts.
The USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is heading to the Western Pacific for what Navy officials call “support of global maritime security operations.”
City News Service contributed to this story