NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Nearly 150 naval aviators from Carrier Air Wing Eight ( CVW-8) returned to Norfolk Naval Station and NAS Oceana Wednesday following a seven-month deployment aboard USS George H.W. Bush ( CVN 77).
They arrived in 44 F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets at NAS Oceana, and four E-2C Hawkeyes, three C-2A Greyhounds and eight MH-60S Knight Hawks to Chambers Field, according to a news release from the Navy.
Following their departure in May, the air wing was the first to deploy aboard the new carrier, the first to deploy with the EA-18G growler electronic countermeasures aircraft, and the first east coast deployment with both MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters.
During the deployment, the air wing successfully completed nearly 12,000 sorties, over 9,000 arrested landings and logged almost 31,000 flight hours, the release said.
Of those missions 2,216 were combat sorties flown in support of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.
They also delivered 20 tons of ordnance including laser guided and GPS bombs and 20mm ammunition in support of coalition ground forces.
In addition, the air wing participated in joint operations with the Royal Jordanian and Royal Saudi Air Forces.
The USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier and ships in its strike group will arrive in Virginia on Saturday.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.