Aircraft carrier Stennis returning to Bremerton

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BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) -- The return of the USS Stennis to Bremerton Friday completes a seven-month deployment in which the aircraft carrier launched the last Navy air mission over Iraq and more than 1,000 flights over Afghanistan

A spokeswoman, Lt. Cmdr. Cindy Fields, says the final Iraq flight on Dec. 18 was a surveillance mission in support of Iraqi forces as U.S. forces withdrew.

In January, the Stennis brig held 15 pirates who had seized an Iranian fishing boat in the northern Arabian Sea.

The carrier unloaded its air wing earlier in the week at San Diego, including a Prowler squadron, VAQ 133 for Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. The Stennis carried more than 500 family members and friends of the crew on a Tiger cruise to Puget Sound.