USS George HW Bush departs… for Portsmouth?

070505-N-6854D-003 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (May 5, 2...

USS Anzio, part of the Bush Strike Group (Image via Wikipedia)

Yesterday the USS George HW Bush departed from Norfolk VA on her maiden deployment.

The Bush strike group is deploying to Europe and the Middle East, tasked with supporting maritime security. One would imagine that this deployment has been made with the conflict in Libya in mind. The Bush’s strike group includes the Ticonderoga class Cruisers USS Gettysburg and USS Anzio, and the Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers USS Truxtun and USS USS Mitscher. It’s also a first deployment for the Truxtun, and it’s also the first time that a woman has commanded a Carrier Strike Group – Rear Admiral Nora Tyson.

On her way to the Mediterranean it is thought that the USS Bush will take part in Exercise Saxon Warrior, scheduled to take place between 18 and 26 May. Rumours around the internet suggest that the Bush will be stationed off Anglesey, taking the opportunity for her air wing to bomb targets at Pembrey Ranges. It seems that much of the flying activity will be over the South West and Wales. The exercise may also include GPS jamming, courtesy of the Bush’s Growler electronic warfare aircraft.

Why the interest? Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Bush will be arriving off Portsmouth in the Solent on 27 May, staying for the weekend. Any of her strike group might arrive along with her. Of course this is subject to operational demands, but keep your watching here for more information as soon as I get it.

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14 Comments

Filed under Navy, News

14 responses to “USS George HW Bush departs… for Portsmouth?

  1. John Erickson

    The US Navy ain’t sayin’ – yet. ;) I’ll keep my eye out too, and let you know if I find anything out.

  2. James Daly

    I haven’t heard anything official yet either, but as soon as I do I will post up here. Whenever a USS visits Portsmouth all we get on the Harbour Master’s movements sheet is ‘foreign warship’, which we know is USN, but we don’t know exactly what it is until it turns up. Op Sec is a big deal for the US Navy, down to closing off the harbour mouth for all traffic even for a Frigate – the RN normally only do that for the larger ships.

    Theres not much information about Ex Saxon Warrior out there either – probably due to the USN involvement.

  3. John Erickson

    Don’t forget her entourage. She’s sailing with the guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and USS Anzio (CG 68), and guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57). There’s some commentary about European ships, primarily a Spanish frigate, as well as an LHD/LSD/LPD joining the group. So don’t be TOO upset if no flattop shows up on your doorstep! (Man, I am SO jealous. The closest I get to seeing a carrier is when a pickup goes by with an ATV in the bed! :D )

    • James Daly

      The rumours I have heard are that the Amphib will be Kearsage, although I gather she is in the Med at the moment so perhaps she will be popping in on the way home!

      John, Portsmouth doesn’t get quite so many foreign visitors as Devonport – thats where the Flag Officer Operational Sea Training is based, and a lot of foreign navies use our OST – German, Dutch, etc. This weekend there are two Swedish Corvettes (Visby class), a Dutch Frigate and Auxiliary and a German Frigate and Submarine… jealous? much!

      Back on the USS Bush, I’ve had an email from the mother of a sailor onboard, asking if I will be covering the trip. I will write as much as I can about her visit to Portsmouth and Ex Saxon Warrior, including hopefully some pics if I can secure a boat trip out to look at her – however my gf Sarah is moving that weekend so time might be an issue :/

      • x

        Re “jealous? much!”

        FYI the tide is a long, long, long, long, long way out here in the extreme Northwest Midlands.

        You can go off people you know…..! :) ;)

        • John Erickson

          X- Betcha the tide’s a WHOLE lot farther out here in SE Ohio. Then again, if the Mississippi floods a little farther, we may not be too far from our own inland sea! :D

          • x

            John it is just these people who live by the sea and still complain……. :)

          • John Erickson

            Never fear, my friend. We have to put up with these young punks. After all, it’s their money that will give us OAPs money to go sun our buns somewhere warm. ;)

    • John Erickson

      I believe Kearsarge has been supporting the Libyan to-do, so if they don’t need her Harriers (I think she’s got some AV-8Bs aboard) then they might pull her. There was a San Antonio class launched not too long ago as well. I’ll dig and see what I can find.
      Oh, the girlfriend move. Oof! I got lucky – when Tamy moved from Texas back to her folks (as part of our courtship), I just had to provide money, which I had in those days. Her friends in Texas got stuck with the work! :D

      • John Erickson

        Kearsarge is on her way home, so it doesn’t look like she’ll be joining USS GHW Bush. No mentions in the US Navy daily brief today, either, so nothing until Monday. But I’ll keep looking!

  4. John Erickson

    GHWB is now in 6th fleet, headed for 5th fleet. No news of detouring off to the UK. Then again, 6th fleet is “North Atlantic”, which the USN tends to think butts up against the west coasts of France and Ireland, so who knows?

    • James Daly

      Latest news is that she is coming next weekend, accompanied by the Arleigh Burke DDG USS Truxtun and the Spanish Alvaro de Bazan class Frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón.

  5. Addmanniw

    She is curtrently moored up in Stokes Bay Gosport. Rumours were correct!

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