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YOKOSUKA, Japan - The U.S. Navy's forward deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, to patrol the Indo-Asia-Pacific region as the flagship for the George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG), Sept. 2.
George Washington spent the last month in port conducting a scheduled maintenance period after spending more than two months at sea.
"I'm extremely proud of the work the crew accomplished during the maintenance availability period to prepare the ship for the remainder of our patrol," said Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington's commanding officer. "Our time in port was very successful. We were able to take care of a lot, reset and get us ready to go for what should be a rigorous and rewarding patrol."
During George Washington's maintenance period, Sailors also participated in three community relations events organized by the ship's command religious ministries department (CRMD), including a beach clean up with the Zushi Hayama Lions Club.
"Working with the Lions Club is important to develop and foster professional relationships between George Washington, the U.S. Navy and Japanese locals," said Lt. j.g. Cole Yoos, George Washington's CRMD division officer. "It was really meaningful to be able to participate in an event with such a great organization."
Morale, Welfare and Recreation provided George Washington Sailors with opportunities to conquer Japan's highest peak with multiple hiking excursions to Mt. Fuji.
"Climbing Mount Fuji has been one of my goals since I arrived in Japan more than a year ago," said Logistics Specialist Seaman Vincent Snyder, from Fayetteville, North Carolina. "It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be and the temperature changes were difficult to handle, but I'm very happy that I was finally able to do it."
George Washington patrols the 7th Fleet area of operations to provide security and stability in the Korean theater, the East China Sea and South China Sea.
"The hard work we've accomplished over the past few weeks has set the bar high," said Fenton. "But I know that our Sailors are prepared and the ship is ready to meet any upcoming challenge."
George Washington returns to sea with its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, which consists of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27, VFA 102, VFA 115, VFA 195, Electronic Attack Squadron 141, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 115, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30, Detachment 5, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12.
George Washington and CVW 5 provide a combat ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.