The USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group began its assault on the Islamic State group in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Monday, the Navy said in a news release.

The Bush left Norfolk on Jan. 21 and arrived in the Mediterranean on Feb. 2. It replaced the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which returned to Norfolk on Dec. 30, leaving a brief gap in U.S. carriers in the region.

The Bush group includes Carrier Air Wing 8, Norfolk-based guided missile destroyers USS Laboon and USS Truxtun, and the Mayport, Fla.-based guided missile destroyers USS Philippine Sea and USS Hué City. Nine squadrons make up the air wing, including Virginia Beach-based Strike Fighter Squadrons 31, 37, 87 and 213 and Norfolk-based Early Warning Squadron 124, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9 and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40.

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