The Associated Press
BREMERTON — The aircraft carrier John Stennis departed Bremerton Monday for San Diego.
A spokeswoman, Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Higgins, says it will conduct flight operations off Southern California but return to Puget Sound in time for Christmas.
The carrier has completed a 16-month, $240 million maintenance period at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Flight operations will test the resurfaced flight deck and certify the air wing.
The Kitsap Sun reports three quarters of the crew is new since the Stennis returned in May 2013 after supporting the war in Afghanistan.
Higgins says the next deployment for the Stennis will be in the second half of next year.