NORFOLK- The planes are home; now it's time for the 5,000 sailors ofUSS Dwight D. Eisenhowerto come back to Hampton Roads.

The carrier left Hampton Roads in March supporting US interests in the Fifth Fleet area (nearly 2.5 million square miles of water including the Arabian Gulf and Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and Gulf of Aden.)

It was the second deployment in less than a year. The crew returned in December from a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf.

While in the area, The Navy says the group conducted maritime security operations, theater security cooperation engagements, and command and control support operations for coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The Strike Group consists of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carrier Air Wing 7, the Mayport-Florida based guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City, the German frigate FSG Hamburg, and Destroyer Squadron 28, which is made up of USS Elrod, USS Mitscher, USS Ramage, USS Cole, USS Donald Cook, USS Winston Churchill, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Jason Dunham.

The Hue City is returning to Mayport today and the Ike to Norfolk; the other ships of the group returned in March.

The German frigate Hamburg is the first German ship to fully integrate and deploy with an American carrier strike group, the Navy said.

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