USS George Washington to deploy to South America

The aircraft carrier George Washington is slated to depart for South America in the coming months, marking the carrier’s first deployment in nearly a decade.

The Southern Seas 2024 deployment is the first for the carrier since it underwent its mid-life refueling and complex overhaul maintenance, or RCOH, starting in 2017 in Virginia.

Meanwhile, the carrier is also poised to return to Yokosuka, Japan, as the Navy’s only forward-deployed carrier, later this year. Yokosuka previously hosted the George Washington from 2008 to 2015.

The Navy has held 10 such Southern Seas deployments since 2007, which aim to bolster maritime partnerships and counter threats in the region, the service said. The George Washington participated in several of these Southern Seas missions — including in 2008 and in 2015 to coincide with its homeport shifts to and from Japan.

The George Washington returns to Japan in 2024, Reagan heads home

““We look forward to building readiness and advancing training as we engage with our friends and partners in South America,” Rear Adm. Robert Westendorff, commander of Carrier Strike Group 10, said in a statement. “We also look forward to visiting several spectacular locations in South America, as U.S. Navy Sailors don’t often get to see this part of the world.”

While operating in U.S. Southern Command’s area of operations, the strike group plans to engage in passing exercises and allow distinguished visitors from partner nations to witness these operations as it sails around the South American continent.

And embarked international staff will also join U.S. sailors during the deployment to receive instruction from U.S. Naval War College professors, and operate alongside Destroyer Squadron 40 personnel – a first for Southern Seas.

These staffers hail from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.

Additionally, port visits are scheduled for Brazil, Chile, and Peru.