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Carrier Eisenhower Deploys for Europe, Middle East Tomorrow

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on April 14, 2016. US Navy Photo

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on April 14, 2016. US Navy Photo

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is set to depart tomorrow for a deployment to the Middle East and Europe, the service announced.

The strike group is the first to deploy under U.S. Fleet Forces Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP), that promises to keep carrier deployments to seven months as part of a 36-month deployment plan.

USS Eisenhower (CVN-69), the lead ship of Carrier Strike Group 10, will depart on Wednesday along with Carrier Air Wing 3 (CVW- 3), the guided missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG-56) and USS Monterey (CG-61) and the guided missile destroyers USS Mason (DDG-87) and USS Nitze (DDG-94).

The guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG-55) and USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) departed from Naval Station Mayport, Fla. and will meet the strike group during its Atlantic transit.

The ships will replace the current Harry S. Truman CSG currently operating in the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) – the ongoing collation mission against ISIS forces in Syria and Iraq. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter approved a 30-day extension of the Truman CSG late last month.

Prior to the Truman CSG arriving in the Middle East, U.S. Central Command operated for two months without an aircraft carrier following the departure of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and its strike group last winter.

Eisenhower recently completed a longer than expected maintenance availability that forced the Navy to swap deployments with Truman to keep a carrier presence in the Middle East.

The Navy is advertising the deployment as a so-called Great Green Fleet deployment – an initiative from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to use less energy service-wide.

“While deployed, CSG ships and aircraft will employ operational procedures and energy conservation measures in order to enhance operational capabilities, enabling strike group units to go farther, stay longer and deliver more firepower without having to refuel,” read a statement from the service.

The following is the complete statement from U.S. Fleet Forces on the departure of the Eisenhower Strike Group.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to Depart for Great Green Fleet Deployment

 NORFOLK, Va. — About 7,000 Sailors attached to Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 will depart Norfolk Wednesday, June 1, on a regularly-scheduled deployment.

CSG 10, commanded by Rear Adm. Jesse A. Wilson, Jr., is comprised of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), commanded by Capt. Paul C. Spedero, Jr., the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 staff, the guided missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Monterey (CG 61), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Nitze (DDG 94).

USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) will depart Naval Station Mayport.

USS Stout (DDG 55) departed Naval Station Norfolk May 14.

The squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, commanded by Capt. Jeffrey Anderson, departed bases including NAS Oceana, NAS Whidbey Island, NAS Jacksonville, NAS Lemoore and Naval Station Norfolk. CVW-3 includes strike fighter squadrons VFA 32 “Swordsmen,” VFA 86 “Sidewinders,” VFA 105 “Gunslingers,” and VFA 131 “Wildcats;” tactical electronics warfare squadron VAQ 130 “Zappers;” carrier airborne early warning squadron VAW 123 “Screwtops;” Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides;” helicopter maritime strike squadron HSM 74 “Swamp Foxes;” and helicopter sea combat squadron HSC 7 “Dusty Dogs.”

The IKE CSG will deploy as a part of the Great Green Fleet initiative. While deployed, CSG ships and aircraft will employ operational procedures and energy conservation measures in order to enhance operational capabilities, enabling strike group units to go farther, stay longer and deliver more firepower without having to refuel. The goal of the Great Green Fleet is to deploy energy-efficient systems and alternative energy in a year-long operational setting, highlighting them as key enablers of combat capability. The Great Green Fleet represents a culture change, highlighting the Navy’s emphasis on energy as a strategic resource in all routine and underway operations worldwide.

This deployment will also mark the first full work-up cycle involving all strike group ships training and certifying together in accordance with the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP). OFRP is the Navy’s process framework to generate ready forces, support global presence, respond to crises, enhance stability and predictability and optimize maintenance and modernization plans. OFRP enables a balance of fiscal realities and Combatant Commanders requests, as well as achieving the expected service life of our units, and improving quality of life for our Sailors while maintaining a framework for increased capacity of operational availability.

IKE CSG DEPLOYMENT-2-2-2-2

While deployed, the strike group will serve in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. The deployment is part of a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, provide crisis response capability and increase theater security cooperation and forward naval presence in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

For more information, visit: www.navy.mil.

Categories: Aviation, News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.