CVN70CRUISE
June 4 - Thursday - 2015 - USS Carl Vinson finally home in San Diego USA
The USS Carl Vinson arrived home 286 days after leaving for deployment last year.
For 6 months CVW-17 participated in airstrikes in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
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Here’s a video of her arrival in Pearl Harbor on May 31.



April 26 - Friday - 2015 - USS Carl Vinson in Perth, Australia
The USS Carl Vinson arrived in Perth, Australia today for a week to allow the crew to visit the country and take a well earned break.

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Captain's Corner: May 7, 2015
Friends and Families of America's Favorite Carrier,
We've been off the grid a bit as the crew truly enjoyed their very long port call in Fremantle, Australia. The majority stayed overnight in hotels for at least part of the visit, and there were many tales of visiting animal parks, cruises to Rottnest Island, shopping or wine tasting in the Swan Valley. All in all, six days in port afforded the crew to truly decompress and gear back up for the long trip home. One of my personal highlights was biking along the Swan River with my wife on a tandem bike--a wonderful way to see a lot of Perth and catch up after a long separation.

We set sail from Australia and conducted a few days of flight operations to keep the team proficient and current. Unfortunately, we somehow got re-infested with slimy Polywogs in Australia and we'll need to take care of this problem in the coming days. The crew is in good spirits as the days continue to tick by. With 8.5 months of deployment complete, the end is truly in sight.
I sent an email out to the crew yesterday to explain a drawing we will hold onboard to see who gets off the ship first when we return. There will be four winners from the ship and four from the air wing--designed to have a spouse "first kiss", a child "first hug", a family/friend "first high five" and a single Sailor who is just ready to be "first on liberty." We will gather the names and hold the drawing later this month. When the winners are identified, we'll notify the friends and family for some VIP treatment and so that they know where to be to meet their Sailor.
The crew continues to be in good spirits--the Australian port call lived up to everyone's expectations. They are a friendly nation and their people welcomed us with open arms. I know this has been a very long deployment and we sincerely appreciate your support--without it, this would have been a much more difficult undertaking.
All the best!
CAPT "T"



April 17 - Friday - 2015 - Stingers final combat missions
A plethora of images have been released of VFA-113 during their final operations for Inherent Resolve. After 238 days on cruise the USS Carl Vinson has been relieved by the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in the Arabian Gulf.
The Carl Vinson relieved the USS George H.W. Bush in mid-October 2014 which means CVW-17 has been waging war on ISIS for 6 months.
The USS Carl Vinson is expected to depart from the combat zone soon and return to the USA, where the Stingers will retire their F/A-18Cs and begin transitioning to the Super Hornet.

In this photo
STING 300 is being launched by catapult #3.
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Armed with an AIM-9X Sidewinder, a GBU-38 JDAM, ATFLIR, two external fuel tanks and a rocket pod STING 300 flies out on one of the last missions against the Daesh.
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Launching from cat 4, BEEF 112 hauls a tanker package into the sky in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
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Weapons delivered, STING 311 crosses the ramp onspeed (indicated by the amber nose gear light). 1 Maverick and 15 Bomb silhouettes are painted below it’s modex.
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STING 305 moments from touchdown after a mission.
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April 13 - Monday - 2015 - USS Theodore Roosevelt relieves the Carl Vinson!
Captain of the USS Carl Vinson, Karl O. Thomas:
“Friends and Families of America's Favorite Carrier,
Today we met up and turned over with the THEODORE ROOSEVELT.  They were a great sight to see. We had the opportunity to exchange family members for a visit and we transferred some equipment.  It seems long ago that we were in their position as we pulled alongside the GEORGE H.W. BUSH.  I remember the enthusiasm as we arrived on station, ready to leap into Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.  The ink hadn't even dried on the Operation's name when we arrived--now your Sailors are veterans and helped define the operation.”


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MARCH 9 - Monday - 2015 - Stingers continue strikes for Inherent Resolve.
VFA-113 Stingers have been in the Arabian Gulf flying missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve since late October 2014, almost 5 months of combat.
Most of the Hornets appear to have successfully employed ordnance against our common enemy in the region.
Here are
Sting 302 and Sting 303 featuring numerous mission bomb silhouettes beneath their left side numbers.
302 appears to have four GBU-38 (JDAM) and one GBU-12 (LGB) 500lb bomb silhouettes.
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JANUARY 20 - Tuesday - 2015 - New rockets on F/A-18s?
Operation Inherent Resolve continues and aircraft of CVW-17 are still pounding enemy forces.
Loadouts have altered slightly with the Laser Maverick on station 8 being replaced by a Multiple Ejector Rack loaded with what appears to be a Hydra 70 rocket pod.
It is possible that US Navy Hornets may be employing the new
Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System II which turns a basic rocket into a laser-guided missile. This might explain the special cover over the face of the pod which would server to protect the seeker heads until use.
Here is a photo of STING 300 carrying the pod taken on January 7 2015.
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If you ever wondered what it looks like to see a Laser Guided Bomb hit an artillary piece, check out this amazing footage taken in August 2014:



JANUARY 16 - Friday - 2015 - BBC documentary released to youtube
The USS Carl Vinson is now beyond the half-way mark of it’s deployment.
CVW-17 have had a very intense cruise so far and BBC ’Newsnight’ correspondent Mark Urban recently filmed this piece aboard the Carrier.
STING 307 is seen being launched at 2:51 and it cuts to a shot of STING 301 flying away at 2:55. 302 is seen in the hangar bay at 8:23. 301s tails are seen at 8:30. There is also a great shot of BEEF 100 having bomb stencils applied at 10:17.






DECEMBER 29 - Saturday - 2014 - DUBAI port visit over Christmas
The USS Carl Vinson visited the port of Dubai over the Christmas period to allow her crew to communicate with family back home and take a well deserved break from combat operations.
STING 300 and BEEF 100 were recently photographed refuelling during a combat mission.

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Videos of air strikes carried out by CVW-17 have begun appearing on this webpage.
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NOVEMBER 22 - Saturday - 2014 - VFA-113 Warriors.
CVW-17 are over 90 days into their cruise and are continuing to launch missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Thankfully Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner has been taking some incredible photographs of the action, and a large percentage of the pics are of VFA-113 Hornets.

Here a Super Hornet (Beef 112) of VFA-22 Fighting Redcocks roars into the sky from Catapult number 2.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released)

Sparks fly as a mystery STINGER’s tailhook scrapes across the USS Carl Vinson flight deck and into the 1-wire after an Operation Inherent Resolve mission today.
The weapons loadout is simliar to the one described on October 30 with the only alteration being a GBU-12 Paveway 500lb Laser Guided Bomb on station 8, replacing the Laser Maverick.
Of interest is that the refuelling probe door is missing from this aircraft. It was possibly damaged during air-to-air refuelling and either lost, or removed later during maintenance.
During previous conflicts the F-14 Tomcat fleet had their refuelling probe doors removed to prevent them being broken loose and being sucked into an engine.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released)

In this photo,
STING 306 has just trapped and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Ted Casal is raising his marshalling wands and preparing to direct the pilot to raise the tailhook. 306 appears to be completely un-armed in this photo.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released)

Pictured for the first time on the flight deck and armed to the teeth with the same load-out described above, STING 300 is pushed back by the deck crew into parking area of the flight deck called “the point”, just starboard of catapult 1.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released)


NOVEMBER 20 - Thursday - 2014 - STING 301 Bomb Tally Nose Art.
Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Amir Mohammed conducted the pre-launch engine startup on STING 301 for it’s Operation Inherent Resolve mission today.
This awesome photo shows that 301 now proudly displays a mission tally on the nose. Two AGM-65 Maverick missiles and a single JDAM bomb sihouette have been painted beneath the left side-number.
The M61 cannon arming door has the text “500 RND HEI E/D 20 NOV 14” written on in chalk indicating the gun has been armed with 500 rounds of High Explosive Incendiary 20mm rounds.
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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from HSC-15 Red Lions was launched as the ship conducted flight operations.
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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released


NOVEMBER 18 - Tuesday - 2014 - Dubai port visit, continued operations.
Fresh from a port visit to Dubai for some R&R last week, the USS Carl Vinson is back at sea launching missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
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STING 303 was sighted for the first time being towed across the flight deck today by Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Raquel Dillman driving a flight deck tractor.
VFA-113 aircraft sighted on cruise so far: 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 310 and 311.
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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Fenaroli/Released

NOVEMBER 02 2014 - Sunday - Steel Beach deck party
Sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson took a break from combat operations in the Arabian Gulf and relaxed during a steel beach picnic on the flight deck today.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex King/Released)

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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shantece Gonzalez/Released)

OCTOBER 30 2014 - Thursday - Operation Inherent Resolve
Aircraft of the USS Carl Vinson have now been operating for almost two weeks in the Arabian Gulf carrying out air strikes over Syria and Iraq.
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The US Navy has just uploaded this video to youtube showing CVW-17 in action from the USS Carl Vinson.
A fully armed STING 306 is launched at 00:17 and is again visible at 02:00, 304 shows up at 01:35, 300 at 02:50 and 302 at 08:00.
            
(US NAVY VIDEO/RELEASED)

From photos and video seen so far, F/A-18C Hornets from both VFA-113 and VFA-94 appear to be armed with a LASER Maverick and JDAM loadout on most missions.
This configuration allows for maximum loiter time and all weapons are able to be brought back to the Carrier, as is shown by the inset photo of a VFA-94 aircraft photographed returning to the USS Carl Vinson after a mission.

Station 1: AIM-9X Sidewinder. Heat-Seeking air-to-air missile.
Station 2:
GBU-38 JDAM. GPS guided Mk-82 500lb bomb.
Station 3:
Empty - provides clear field of view for the ATFLIR targeting pod.
Station 4:
AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR. Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infra-Red pod.
Station 5:
FUEL - 330 gallon external tank.
Station 6:
Empty.
Station 7:
FUEL - 330 gallon external tank.
Station 8:
AGM-65E Maverick LASER guided air-to-ground missile.
Station 9:
Empty.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr.

OCTOBER 19 2014 - Sunday - USS Carl Vinson relieves USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf.
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In just under 2 months the USS Carl Vinson (bottom) has sailed to the other side of the planet, passed through the Straits Of Hormuz and joined the USS George H. W. Bush in the Arabian Gulf.
The USS George H.W.Bush will soon head for it’s homeport at Norfolk Virginia and the USS Carl Vinson will take over the strike operations in Iraq and Syria.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Korrin Kim/Released)

VFA-113 aircraft sighted so far: 300, 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 307, 310 and 311.

STING 306 was spotted on deck today armed with AIM-9X Sidewinder and AGM-65L Laser Maverick. This is the first time photos of VFA-113 have appeared carrying live ordnance and not practice bombs. CVW-17 is now appears to be conducting combat operations.
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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nick Brown

OCTOBER 10 2014 - Friday - Singapore visit / transit to Persian Gulf.
The Carl Vinson Battle group recently enjoyed a 5 day shore visit to Singapore and is now somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
They are currently heading toward the Arabian Gulf to relieve the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) carrier group of duties over Syria and Iraq.

Sting 307 was photographed today on deck carrying a ‘hard wing’ fuel load out of fuel tanks on stations 5 & 7 plus a practice bomb on station 3. The left fuselage mounted FLIR pod is much less likely to be masked by this configuration and it is commonly used on both Classic and Super Hornets.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released) USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

VFA-113 aircraft sighted so far: 300, 301, 302, 304, 305, 307, 310 and 311.

SEPTEMBER 29 2014 - Monday - Operation Valiant Shield
Ships from the George Washington and Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Groups and Air Force and Marine Corps operate in formation at the conclusion of Valiant Shield 2014.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Trevor Welsh/Released) Commander, Task Force 70
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Captain of the USS Carl Vinson, Karl O. Thomas:

“Friends and Family of America's Favorite Carrier,
The past two days, we transited through the historic waters of the Surigao Strait, Sulu Sea, and Balabat Strait.  History buffs will recall the tremendous naval battle of Leyte Gulf, which occurred between 23-26 October 1944 nearly 70 years ago as the Japanese attempted to thwart the allied invasion of Leyte Island.  Our crew had an opportunity to stand upon CARL VINSON's flight deck in the exact waters where the last battleship vs. battleship engagement occurred.  Many of those battleships were damaged during Pearl Harbor, and were repaired and returned to battle. 
As we entered the strait, we passed over the battle lines where the United States was able to "cross the T" and bring all her guns to bear on the Imperial Japanese Navy that was travelling northward in the Surigao Strait.  This decisive battle was the largest naval battle of WWII and terminated the Japanese' ability to move resources to the home islands.

During the transit, we passed many tropical Philippine Islands.  There was an amazing number of fishermen plowing the waters--especially at night when they illuminated bright lights to bring the squid to the surface of the water.  We passed through literally hundreds of small fishing boats, and they lit up the waters all around our ships. 
During the day, we saw a few brave souls in what looked like small canoes miles away from the shoreline. You couldn't help ask yourself what was going through these people's minds as five United States military vessels sailed in a column past their tiny islands.  It likely was the first time they had seen a ship that could carry aircraft, and I wonder if they were able to visualize what the CARL VINSON looks like in operation.
 
The team continues to do well.  I'm amazed by the good natured attitude of my Sailors.  Smiles persist, and there is a good vibe throughout the ship. We took advantage of the no-fly day and held a General Quarters drill last night, reactor drills this morning, and small arms qualifications off the fantail.  Training occurs on a daily basis, and we continue to keep our skills sharp.
 
I thank you for all the support of your Sailors!  It means a lot to them knowing that you are following their progress.  I appreciate all the kind thoughts and comments.  We are proud of our ship, but most importantly of our country.
 
All the best,
CAPT Thomas”


SEPTEMBER 22 2014 - Monday - Operation Valiant Shield
After one month at sea the USS Carl Vinson is now near the US island of Guam participating in Valiant Shield, a U.S. only biennial exercise in which concentrates on the integration of joint training among U.S. forces. s
The USS George Washington Carrier Battle group is also participating in the exercise along with USAF, USMC and for the first time US ARMY units.
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STING 305 was photographed today launching from the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson in support of Valiant Shield.
VFA-113 aircraft sighted aboard the Carl Vinson so far on this deployment have been:
300, 301, 302, 304, 305, 310 and 311.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr./Released)

SEPTEMBER 18 2014 -Thursday - Memorial service for lost pilot
Sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) attended the memorial ceremony for Lt. Nathan Poloski today.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Fenaroli/Released)

SEPTEMBER 16 2014 - Tuesday - New STING 310
VFA-113 Stingers have recently acquired a new jet. This F/A-18C was painted in blue aggressor markings when it arrived aboard the USS Carl Vinson.
It has been repainted in Stinger colors and given the modex
310. The repaint was accomplished aboard the hangar deck. The VFA-113 CAG aircraft STING 300 can be seen in the background in this photo.
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Captain of the USS Carl Vinson, Karl O. Thomas, made this statement today regarding the missing Hornet pilot from VFA-94
“Friends and Family of America's Favorite Carrier!
As you know, after an exhaustive search of more than 3,000 square miles using ships, helicopters, patrol aircraft and satellite imagery, we were unable to locate the missing pilot involved in the crash from a couple of days ago.
A memorial service is planned on board for Thursday, Sept. 18, allowing us to celebrate and honor the life, service and sacrifice of Lt. Nathan Poloski.
Like many of you already have, I extend my condolences to his family and friends.”


SEPTEMBER 14 2014 - Sunday - Search called off for missing pilot
Worse news today as the search for the missing F/A-18C pilot has been called off. Our condolences and prayers go out to the pilots family and friends.
Two F/A-18s, one from VFA-94 and one from VFA-113 launched from the USS Carl Vinson and formed up to fly out to their initial stations.
After flying out only seven miles from the carrier they collided causing catastrophic damage to both aircraft.
The VFA-113 pilot was able to eject and was swiftly rescued by a Seahawk helicopter from HSC-15 Red Lions and has since been released from medical facilities aboard the ship.
This serves to remind us of the great risks these brave men and women undertake in keeping the rest of us safe.
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SEPTEMBER 12 2014 - Friday - Two F/A-18Cs in mid-air collision
Sad news today as two Hornets from the USS Carl Vinson have collided during training over the western Pacific Ocean.
One pilot has been rescued in ‘fair condition’ but one pilot is still missing.
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SEPTEMBER 2 2014 - Tuesday - New VFA-22 CAG
STING 311 was photographed on deck today with a newly painted VFA-22 Fighting Redcocks F/A-18F Super Hornet (‘BEEF 100’). CVN-70 is enjoying clear skies in the US 3rd Fleet’s area of responsibility which means somewhere eastern Pacific Ocean.
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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Fenaroli

SEPTEMBER 1 2014 - Monday - Carrier Onboard Delivery
A C-2A Greyhound from squadron VRC-30 ‘Providers’ landed aboard the USS Carl Vinson today carrying out it’s ‘Carrier Onboard Delivery’ (COD) mission. VRC-30 are based at NAS Atsugi which indicates that the Carrier is now somewhere near Japan.
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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner, Jr

AUGUST 24 2014 - Sunday - Carrier Quals

The USS Carl Vinson is underway off the coast of Southern California conducting Carrier Qualifications as part of the ship’s Western Pacific Deployment.
In this photo VFA-113 Hornet
STING 304 conducts a ‘touch and go’ landing with it’s tailhook retracted. STING 302 can be seen in the background parked on the deck next to the Sunliners CAG jet.
The inset photo shows Combat Systems Department Sailors using a grove crane to lift an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) during an ordnance handling evolution.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Giovanni Squadrito

AUGUST 22 2014 - Friday - Departure day
SAN DIEGO - The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departed San Diego Friday for deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East.
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The vessels in the strike force include:
CVN-70 - USS Carl Vinson
CG-52 - USS Bunker Hill
DDG-101 - USS Gridley
DDG-104 - USS Sterett
DDG-105 - USS Dewey
The aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 17 will be aboard the USS Carl Vinson for this deployment.

CVW17ALL