U.S.S. Nimitz Sailors From Lemoore Headed To Red Sea
LEMOORE, Calif. (KMPH) —
Military families of sailors aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz say they are sad and concerned that their loves one are no longer on their way home, but are now headed west to help support a limited U.S. strike on Syria, if needed.
U.S. Defense officials say the U.S.S. Nimitz Carrier Strike group, made up of four destroyers and a cruiser had been in the Indian Ocean, supporting U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
Now the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, with some 750 sailors from Naval Air Station Lemoore, many making up the three strike fighter squadrons, The Blue Diamonds, The Argonauts, and The Black Knights are now heading west toward the Red Sea.
Patricia Hernandez-Turcotte's husband, Thomas, is a chief air mechanic aboard the Nimitz.
She says, "You might not be going on a boat, but you're taking care of things back home so they can do their job on the ship. so we are both definitely in the military."
Patricia and others learned of the strike groups plan, after the Rear Admiral posted on Facebook, "As the U.S.S. Nimitz strike group continues to proudly serve in the 5th fleet area of responsibility, I want our friends and family to know that we will not return to home port as originally scheduled."
Patricia says over the past 20 years of Thomas' military career, she has seen this before but says it is something you never get used to.
Patricia says, "not scared but that is my husband on the ship. you hear about chemicals, you get a little set back about that. You do have family plans that you are waiting. you made a chain and the kids are taking down the chain, but this is something he chose to do and I totally support him."
While many wait for their loved ones safe return, others are getting ready in case their loved ones get the same order.
Amanda Timm says, "I'm just getting prepared and being able to have more routine when he's gone is what I've kind of focused on when he does go out."
Over the past week, the U.S. Navy doubled its presence in the eastern Mediterranean, effectively adding two destroyers to the three that generally patrol the region.
The five destroyers are carrying an estimated load of 200 tomahawk missiles.