Pearl Harbour: The aircraft carrier
that buried Osama bin Laden`s body at sea arrived in Hawaii,
making its first stop on US soil since its deployment to the
Middle East six months ago.
More than 100 family and friends greeted sailors at
the pier as the ship stopped in Pearl Harbour yesterday for a
port visit before making its way home to San Diego.
The USS Carl Vinson was in the North Arabian Sea last
month when it received a Navy SEAL team carrying the body of
the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Pentagon officials speaking about the burial have said
that bin Laden`s body was placed in a weighted bag on the
carrier and that an officer made religious remarks before the
remains were put on a board and tipped into the sea.
The massive carrier and its 5,500 sailors, pilots and
crew were returning home from their deployment to the Middle
East and Asia that began November 30.
It spent 171 of 191 days at sea and sailed more than
52,340 nautical miles.
The Vinson -- named after the Georgia congressman who
died in 1981 -- serves as the flagship for Carrier Strike
Group 1 led by Rear Admiral Samuel Perez.
It conducted exercises with South Korea, Japan,
Singapore, Britain, France and Australia in addition to
responding to two piracy attempts on civilian vessels.
The carrier hosted numerous visitors from Philippines
President Philippines Beningo Aquino III to the Super Bowl
champion Green Bay Packers.