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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.

  • Cl1ffClav3n

    It is telling that the U.S. Navy has dropped all mention of biofuels from the latest round of Great Green Fleet press releases. This is because the boutique quantity loaded aboard in San Diego has been consumed and it remains logistically impractical to transport any fuel, let alone biofuel, from the mainland to forward locations. The U.S. Navy does not have the tanker capacity nor the budget to do so, and buys its fuel for forward operations from commercial vendors in host nations and local ports.

    The biofuel in question was 90% fossil fuel in the first place, and the 10% cattle fat portion that provided the fig leaf illusion of green-ness was purchased at a 500% premium subsidized under the table with USDA money to hide the true cost from Congress and the taxpayers. So the whole concept of military biofuels remains an unworkable, uneconomic farce pursued for ill-conceived ideological reasons rather than in the genuine interest of national defense or energy security.

    Energy efficiency, on the other hand, is beneficial for a fighting force, as long as it is not achieved at the cost of combat effectiveness. But here again the Navy is pursuing a misguided approach. They are valuing fuel savings over awareness and readiness by written orders from the Chief of Naval Operations tasking ship captains to turn off radars and shut down half of their propulsion plants. In the wake of the recent shameful capture of two Navy crews by Iranians, America would be better served by a posture of increased vigilance and operating tempo, not a contest of who can drive the blindest and slowest through international waters.

  • Ed L

    I remember my last Med Cruise in 88/89. We must have sat in port (Amphips) for over 2 months of that deployment due to restrictions on fuel usages. Us poor John Maddens of the Fleet. The Carrier Battle Groups got priority for it’s 3 cruisers, 4 DDG’s 3 or 4 FFG’s and don’t forget the Support ships that tag along. I mean 30 days in France and 2 weeks in Naples, another 2 weeks in Haifa, a week in Rota. Got to do a lot of guided tours during a 6 month deployment. A couple of us single guys, took off for a 10 days of leave to Paris and then London.

  • Marjus

    Wow, 2 cruisers and 4 DDGs, with the likely SSN tagging along. Still not quite full strength for my taste as far as what should constitute a battle group but I suppose it suffices nowadays. The lack of ASuW assets is glaring as always and a major concern. But still enough firepower there to wipe the seas and skies clean of adversaries and then move to destroy a good portion of their country if necessary.