Iwo Jima Group To Return Home Wednesday After Six Months

December 2nd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Iwo Jima Group To Return Home Wednesday After Six Months

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
December 2, 2006
By Jack Dorsey, The Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK - More than 2,000 sailors aboard five ships in the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group are scheduled to return to Hampton Roads on Wednesday after a six-month overseas deployment.
Part of that time was spent off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, where sailors helped evacuate some of the 14,000 Americans after fighting broke out with Israel.
The strike group consists of the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima, the amphibious transport ship Nashville, the guided missile destroyers Cole and Bulkeley, all based at the Norfolk Naval Station, and the dock landing ship Whidbey Island, based at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach.
The group deployed June 6 has supported operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility, the Navy said in a release.
The guided missile cruiser Philippine Sea and its 300-member crew is also is part of the group and will be returning on Friday to its home port in Mayport, Fla.
The deployment marked the first time the Cole returned to the 5th Fleet since the terrorist bombing attack in October 2000 that killed 17 crew members.

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