Tom Koepke of Mason recently had the opportunity to visit his son who is deployed aboard the USS George H. W. Bush (EVN 77). On May 11, 2011, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier sailed across the Atlantic Ocen to the United States 6th Fleet area of responsibility where it visited England, Spain and Italy. On November 11th, "The Bush" (CVN77) and Carrier Air Wing (CVN 8) completed flight operations in support of Operation New Dawn, marking the end of the combat phase of the aircraft carrier's first operational deployment and completing its first historic combat deployment. Over 61,000 miles were traveled on its maiden voyage. During this time it conducted 30,668 aircraft moves and 9,140 flight deck launches and recoveries. It returned to its home port of Norfolk, Virginia, on December 10, 2011.