NORFOLK-- It's the first day of many happy homecomings this week. Nearly 60 aircraft and more than 160 personnel from Carrier Air Wing Seven aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower returned to Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field and NAS Oceana Tuesday following their six-month deployment.
The air wing is returning ahead of schedule in order to complete flight deck resurfacing on Eisenhower.
CVW-7 aircraft flew more than 8,000 sorties, over 3,000 of them were combat missions.
They amassed a total of 16,502 flight hours while delivering 10,000 pounds of ordnance providing maritime support operations for coalition ground forces while participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.
The air wing will redeploy next spring.
Returning to Chambers Field are the 'Rawhides' of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Forty (VRC-40), Det. 3 and the 'Bluetails' of Airborne Early Warning Squadron One Twenty One (VAW-121). The Rawhides operate two C-2A 'Greyhound' Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) aircraft carrying passengers, parts, and mail and the Bluetails fly the E-2C 'Hawkeye' airborne command and control aircraft.
Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Five (HS-5), the 'Nightdippers' will fly into Chambers Field Wednesday, December 19 with their H/SH-60F/H 'Sea Hawk' helicopters.
Arriving at NAS Oceana are the 'Rampagers' of Strike Fighter Squadron Eighty Three (VFA-83), the 'Jolly Rogers' of VFA-103, the 'Wildcats' of VFA-131 and the 'Pukin' Dogs' from VFA-143. All fly the F/A-18 'Hornet' and 'Super Hornet.
Some 6,300 sailors on the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike and the USS Amphibious Ready Group will be back in Hampton Roads by Thursday.