A U.S. Navy supercarrier underway is a powerful sight, but this helicopter crew’s video of their trip around the ship with its deck packed with the aircraft of Carrier Air Wing Five as the giant vessel carves through the sea is pretty damn awe inspiring.

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Did you notice that huge ribbon flying from the carrier’s island mast? I believe this is the ship’s homecoming pennant, a triumphant indication that the carrier is sailing home after a successful cruise.

The USS George Washington has been replaced by the USS Ronald Reagan as America’s forward deployed carrier in Japan and is now back in Norfolk, Virginia undergoing a complex overhaul. Once complete, the ship will return to the fleet with another 25 years of service left ahead of it.

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