Home » Aviation » Eisenhower CSG Home After Deployment That Included Russian, Iranian Harassment


Eisenhower CSG Home After Deployment That Included Russian, Iranian Harassment

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transits the Atlantic Ocean on Dec. 23, 2016. US Navy photo.

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) transits the Atlantic Ocean on Dec. 23, 2016. US Navy photo.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group returned home today from a dramatic seven-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and Middle East.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG-56) and guided-missile destroyers USS Mason (DDG-87), USS Nitze (DDG-94) and USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) faced threats from Russian and Iranian naval forces and Iranian-backed forces in Yemen, as well as demonstrated the Navy’s Great Green Fleet capability with the Italian Navy’s Flotta Verde.

First, in June, a Russian frigate harassed the strike group in the Mediterranean, with the Russian Navy frigate Yaroslav Mudry (FF-777) making erratic movements and radio transmissions around San Jacinto. The frigate came within 150 yards of the cruiser and weaved through the water in San Jacinto’s wake, warning the American ship to “not cross my bow.” About two weeks beforehand, the same Russian frigate harassed a destroyer in the Harry S. Turman CSG.

In August Nitze was harassed by Iranian naval forces while operating near the Strait of Hormuz. Four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy high-speed patrol boats came at the ship, getting as close as 300 yards, without responding to hails or warning flares fired from Nitze, USNI News reported.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) moored to Belfast Harbor for a scheduled port visit on Dec. 15, 2016. US Navy photo.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) moored to Belfast Harbor for a scheduled port visit on Dec. 15, 2016. US Navy photo.

In October Mason was shot at multiple times by anti-ship cruise missiles fired by Iranian-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen. Nitze launched Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles and destroyed three radar sites used in the attacks, but the attacks appeared to continue.

In November an Iranian patrol boat trained a crew-served weapon on a Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter belonging to IKE as the carrier transited the Strait of Hormuz,

An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Sidewinders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 fly-off on Dec. 29, 2016. In the background is the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56). US Navy photo.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Sidewinders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 fly-off on Dec. 29, 2016. In the background is the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56). US Navy photo.

In addition to providing maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility and launching F/A-18s to conduct airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq, the strike group also supported the July evacuation of personnel from the American embassy in South Sudan.

This seven-month deployment was Eisenhower’s first after coming out of a two-year maintenance availability. The ship conducted back-to-back deployments to keep up with operational needs, and a 2013 maintenance availability meant to last 14 months turned into a two-year affair.

  • Marjus Plaku

    it would be nice if we could have a full/heavy compliment of ships for the battle groups. 4 surface combatants plus a carrier spread out over the Med and Gulf is barely enough to project some strikes, is not enough to have constant presence everywhere within the AOR nor enough to engage in anything but limited self defense.

    we really need more ships and boats.

    • publius_maximus_III

      I wonder if there was also an attack sub attached to the CSG, though not mentioned here. I imagine there are several operating in these two regions, ready to take out any threats to their surface vessels.

  • Avi

    How about specialized harassment ships – cheap old fast container ships with a small crew – whose task would be to do body checks to unwanted foreign advances? They can also carry supplies so as to be useful when there is no harassment.

    • Marjus Plaku

      the harassment is a nuisance and not a threat. missiles, submarines, swarm tactics and naval air power are the real dangers, regardless whether it’s iran, yemen, russia or china. and for that we don’t want any sort of ship but a major surface combatant. it is the cost of doing business and the necessity for protecting that business. and the USN’s job is to be everywhere in the world and guard the common maritime domains. unless we want to give this job up to someone else and be cut off from the world.

      • Avi

        I meant when a foreign warship tries provocatively to pass between a carrier and an escorting destroyer, then maybe an anti-harassment hull could be useful to dissuade them from doing this.

  • John B. Morgen

    Such acts of harassment should be treated as acts of war, if necessary ram them.

    • Donald Carey

      No, just don’t dodge – any collision is always the smaller vessel’s fault (unless it is a sailboat).

      • John B. Morgen

        I could live with that concept.

    • Ken N

      Well its a good thing our leaders over the past 50 years don’t think like you otherwise the world would of been vaporized 100x by now.

      • John B. Morgen

        I’m not a pushover like some of our leaders have been because I use fear or the willingness to engage with military action. Be damn of weakness, and that is what we have gotten so far.