US Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and its carrier strike group (CSG) deployed from San Diego on June 8 in support of global maritime security operations.
The carrier is joining USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike), USS Ronald Reagan and USS Theodore Roosevelt as one of four carriers deployed on operations around the world.
Nimitz is scheduled to deploy to the Western Pacific, while Ike, Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt are on operations in the North Arabian Sea and in the Pacific. It is worth noting that USS Harry S. Truman is also at sea, but is scheduled to return home soon now that USS Nimitz got underway.
Prior to deploying, the Nimitz strike group completed a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), designed to fully integrate units of a carrier strike group, while testing a strike group’s ability as a whole to carry out sustained combat operations from the sea. Ships, squadrons and staffs were tested across every core warfare area within their mission sets through a variety of simulated and live events, including air warfare, strait transits, and responses to surface and subsurface contacts and electronic attacks.
“The carrier strike group team is trained and ready,” Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander, CSG 11. “The men and women of Carrier Strike Group 11 have demonstrated exceptional tactical and technical expertise, teamwork, and toughness. We are honored to answer the call and operate forward.”
All personnel assigned to NIM CSG completed a minimum, 14-day quarantine ashore and were tested for COVID-19 prior to getting underway with their respective units. Sailors assigned to Nimitz completed a 27-day fast cruise aboard the ship which also included their COVID-19 testing period.
In addition to Nimitz, Nimitz CSG deploying units include Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, which includes Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114). CVW-17 consists of the Lemoore, California-based “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137, “Mighty Shrikes” of VFA 94, “Fighting Redcocks” of VFA 22; the San Diego-based “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the Whidbey Island, Washington-based “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, the Point Mugu, California-based “Sun Kings” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, and the San Diego-based “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, “Battlecats” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 and “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30.
Sterett departed Naval Base San Diego June 4, Princeton departed Naval Base San Diego June 6, and Ralph Johnson is scheduled to depart San Diego on June 9.