Family and friends said their goodbyes Friday to about 6,200 sailors when the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group prepared to pull out of Naval Air Station North Island Friday for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East.

Along with the Vinson are four other ships, including the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill and the guided missile destroyers USS Gridley, USS Sterett and USS Dewey.

According to the U.S. Navy, the strike group will focus on maritime security operations.

The USS Carl Vinson is the aircraft carrier from which Osama bin Laden was buried at sea following his death in 2011.