The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group has begun its assault on the Islamic State group from the Persian Gulf, the Navy said Monday.
The Bush left Norfolk on Jan. 21, arrived in the Mediterranean on Feb. 2 and began launching sorties from that region less than two weeks later. It began attacking from the gulf on Thursday, according to the Navy.
The Bush replaced the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which returned to Norfolk on Dec. 30, leaving a brief gap in U.S. carriers in the region.
The Bush group includes Carrier Air Wing 8, Norfolk-based guided missile destroyers USS Laboon and USS Truxtun, and the Mayport, Fla.-based guided missile destroyers USS Philippine Sea and USS Hué City.
Nine squadrons make up the air wing, including Virginia Beach-based Strike Fighter Squadrons 31, 37, 87 and 213, and Norfolk-based Early Warning Squadron 124, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9 and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40.