YOKOSUKA, Japan (June 13,2011) Despite foul weather, an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Eagles" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 conducts a touch-and-go landing on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS George Washington (CVN 73), the day following the aircraft carrier's departure for a summer patrol. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam K. Thomas)

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) — George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG), centered around the Navy's only full-time forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS George Washington (CVN 73), returned to sea to begin their summer patrol, June 12.

"After a six month long maintenance period, George Washington is an [increasingly] modern, state-of-the-art warship," said George Washington's commanding officer, Capt. David A. Lausman. "I am excited to return to sea and work in international waters with our regional partners."

In addition to George Washington, GWCSG consists of 7th Fleet's Carrier Air Wing 5, Destroyer Squadron 15, guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Mustin (DDG 89) and USS Stethem (DDG 63). Also included in the strike group are guided-missile cruisers USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Shiloh (CG 67).

Carrier Air Wing 5 is composed of Strike Fighter Squadron 27, Strike Fighter Squadron 102 Strike Fighter Squadron 115, Strike Fighter Squadron 195, Electronic Attack Squadron 136, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 115, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Detachment 5 and Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 14.

More than 5,500 Sailors are currently stationed aboard George Washington.

George Washington's mission is to ensure security and stability in the Western Pacific and to be in position to work with our allies and regional partners to respond to any crisis across the operational spectrum as directed.

For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.