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Air crews from Oceana, Norfolk Naval Station return from deployment

More than 100 Navy pilots and crew members returned to Naval Air Station Oceana and Norfolk Naval Station on Sunday after a nearly 10-month deployment.

NORFOLK, Va. — More than 100 Navy pilots and crew members returned to Naval Air Station Oceana and Norfolk Naval Station on Sunday after a nearly 10-month deployment.

The deployment was part of Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7) assigned aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

Twelve pilots and 12 Weapons Systems Officers (WSOs) assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (VFA-103) the "Jolly Rogers" arrived at NAS Oceana with 12 F/A-18F Super Hornets.  

Also arriving at NAS Oceana: VFA-143 the "Pukin Dogs," with 12 pilots and 12 F/A-18E Super Hornets.

Airborne Early Warning Squadron 121 (VAW-121) flying 5 E-2D “Advanced Hawkeye” aircraft returned to Norfolk Naval Station.

Navy officials said the Bluetails’ mission is to provide airborne early warning, airborne battle management, and command and control functions for the carrier strike group and joint force commander.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group team executed more than 1,285 sorties totaling 28,437 hours, to include 392 combat sorties encompassing 1,140 combat flight hours in direct support of friendly forces in Afghanistan and Syria. 

The air wing successfully employed 42 precision-guided munitions with a combined weight of over 70,000 pounds, destroying enemy targets and fighting positions in direct defense of coalition forces on the ground.

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