City News Service
Sailors from three San Diego-based air squadrons will return home Saturday from a six-month deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the Navy announced Tuesday.
The Fleet Logistics Support Squadron VRC-30, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron HSC-12 and the Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron HSM-77 deployed Sept. 11.
"I could not be more proud of the sailors and officers in my squadron and the rest of the strike group," said Cmdr. Kenneth Strong, the commanding officer of HSM-77. "I am humbled to be a member of such a dedicated team. Obviously, we are all happy to be coming home to our families and friends, and are pleased at having done our duty so well."
The Navy said HSM-77 was named as the top helicopter squadron on the West Coast. The Lincoln Carrier Strike Group operated in the western Pacific Ocean and waters off the Middle East during the deployment. The Lincoln will drop off the squadrons on Saturday before leaving for its home port of Everett, Wash.
San Diego-based ships with the strike group — the guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George and destroyer USS Sterett — will return separately. The USS Halsey returned Monday.