Home » Aviation » Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Deployment Extended for Korea Presence Operations


Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Deployment Extended for Korea Presence Operations

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) transits the Indian Ocean on April 15, 2017. US Navy Photo

The deployment of Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group has been extended by a month so the CSG can conduct presence operations off the coast of Korea, the commander of the strike group said late Tuesday in a message to his crew.

“Our deployment has been extended 30 days to provide a persistent presence in the waters off the Korean Peninsula,” wrote Rear Adm. Jim Kilby on the wall of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) Facebook page.
“Our mission is to reassure allies and our partners of our steadfast commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. We will continue to be the centerpiece of visible maritime deterrence, providing our national command authority with flexible deterrent options, all domain access, and a visible forward presence.”

A defense official told USNI News on Tuesday the strike group could be off of Korea by sometime next week.

Navy Times first reported Kilby’s notice on the extension late Tuesday.

The CSG completed an abbreviated exercise schedule off the coast of Western Australia ahead of an anticipated transit through the South China Sea earlier this week.

“The Strike Group was able to complete a curtailed period of previously scheduled training with Australia in international waters off the northwest coast of Australia,” U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Cmdr. David Benham told USNI News on Tuesday.
“The Carl Vinson Strike Group is heading north to the Western Pacific as a prudent measure.”

On April 8, PACOM commander Adm. Harry Harris ordered the strike group to skip a previously planned port call in Fremantle, Australia and accelerate at sea training with the Royal Australian Navy off of the western coast of the country to get the strike group to the vicinity of Korea faster.

A brief press statement issued as the ship left Singapore announced the cancellation of the port visit but did not include mention of the training with the RAN. The notice sparked press stories the CSG was steaming without delay to Korea assuming the move was to deter an anticipated North Korean missile or nuclear weapons test.

Pentagon leaders denied that was the case last week.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the South China Sea on April 8, 2017. US Navy Photo

“There’s not a specific demand signal or specific reason we’re sending her up there. She’s stationed in the Western Pacific for a reason,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters on April 11 in an attempt to clarify previous statements.
“She operates freely up and down the Pacific and she’s on her way up there because that’s where we thought it was most prudent to have her at this time.”

However, Mattis misspoke and said the training component of the CSG’s exercise with the RAN was canceled, which Pentagon officials corrected in a statement to USNI News shortly after Mattis’ remarks.

Additional unclear statements from the White House compounded the misconception the Vinson CSG was headed directly to the peninsula.

In an interview with Fox Business Network on April 12, President Donald Trump said the U.S. was, “sending an armada [to Korea]. Very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you.”

While the move of Vinson north has prompted additional attention, U.S. carriers off of Korea are not rare during a Western Pacific deployment.

The strike group has already operated off the Korean peninsula last month as part of the U.S.-South Korean Operation Foal Eagle 2017 exercise.

The Vinson Strike Group deployment is being overseen by U.S. Third Fleet based in San Diego, Calif. as a test of the Navy’s ability to command and control forces in the Western Pacific, reported USNI News earlier this year.

  • RDF

    First no port call in Australia. Then, a 30 day extension. These squids are going to want to make someone pay for these offenses.

    • AmPatriotSmith

      It has nothing to do with what the Navy did; it was a miscommunication coming from the administration

      • RDF

        Well the 30 day extension is a bad deal. Those sailors are gonna want to take it out on someone. I wasn’t blaming the Navy. I been there. Got extended when JFK had a hissy fit boiler problem. We did not like CV-67 for a long time.

        • AmPatriotSmith

          What I’m saying is that Trump’s administration is still under staffed and I think that’s how the miscommunication happened. Thank you for your service anyway.

          • RDF

            miscommunication has nothing to do with extending Vinson. nothing at all.

          • AmPatriotSmith

            No, I’m talking about the narrative that the Trump administration put out over a week ago saying this very powerful carrier strike group was on it’s way to No. Korea. Mattis said that it was on its way when the ship was really going on a training exercise near Australia. I don’t think that was said deliberately to mislead, I just think it was a miscommunication error. I think the real cause of that was because the deparments in Trump’s administration, and that includes the Pentagon, are not fully staffed. He doesn’t have all his departments fully staffed. It’s just a theory of mine; I could be wrong

          • RDF

            sorry, I was talking about the news article. the Trump team does what it does. Meanwhile Vinson is extended 30 days and did NOT get to port call in Australia.

          • RDF

            that is not all hes got that is not “fully staffed”.

    • Gen. Buck Turgidson

      the sea daddys will,,look out e1s

  • publius_maximus_III

    Sorry for the tour extension, Vinson CSG Sailors and Marines, but right now you are absolutely the tip of the trident, with Fat Boy lobbing failed ballistic missile tests left and right. God Bless America, and thank you service men and women for your faithful service.

    • RDF

      Those sailors would tell you where to put your thanks… And miss Australia? I don’t get why they had to cancel liberty port call, only to NOT head to Korea.

      • Duane

        Uhh, maybe the reason was to protect the United States of America, which is their mission, after all.

        Getting deployments extended is never fun for the crew, but it’s also a relatively common fact of life. Stuff happens. Threats emerge. Replacement vessels get delayed. It’s a sailor’s life.

        • RDF

          When you are 6 months into a seven month cruise, making that eight is the pits.

          • On Dre

            So you send your fleet, at the end of their deployment, to the NORK front line because your foreign policy is dependent on how well you take your twitter feed at 5 in the morning.
            #NotWinning

          • RDF

            In this case the foreign policy is dependent on the actions of whackos like yourself Richard. Leave your name and address with the receptionist. We will get around to you eventually.

          • GWB1

            Elections have consequences. Who said that? Get used to winning.

          • Duane

            Been there done that … had a long-scheduled shipyard overhaul with a long-planned family move (basically, a change of home port) ready to roll when the Navy decided to extend our “domestic deployment” by a month (my boat was doing the qualification trials for the DSRV – with DSRV testing, we may as well have been on WestPac as far as how it affected our “off duty” lives, because we were constantly going out and coming back on a moment’s notice on no particular schedule). Everybody on the boat had to put their families’ lives on hold for that month. It sucked. We survived.

          • AmPatriotSmith

            I think World War II was the “pits” for a lot of sailors, don’t you think.

          • RDF

            I think WWII was a real different fettle of kish. Sort of watermelons and oranges comparison.

        • Gen. Buck Turgidson

          Non servers might not

      • publius_maximus_III

        Understood.

      • Gen. Buck Turgidson

        Of course you don’t,,,don’t even try

        • RDF

          What does that mean? I worked and lived with sailors deployed for years. You get to the end and you are crossing out each day on the cruise calendar, and someone adds a page to it, they don’t care about anything but a little payback for their trouble. Don’t need your thanks. They want to know why their relief is late, AND no Aussie port call. Don’t be a Richard.

      • publius_maximus_III

        North Korea’s Fat Boy is now threatening to sink the entire CSG. Fat chance, Blimpy, have another doughnut.

      • fjwalker1959

        I believe it was the ship’s Captain that cancelled the port because he didn’t feel it would be appropriate to see American sailors from the Vinson frolicking around on shore leave while NK was stirring up the crap. I do have a son on the Vinson & feel bad for him missing Austrailia, he was just there last year so he knows what a great port it is, but I think the Captain made the right call. Hopefully they can stop on their way back from NK.

        • RDF

          noone minds missing portcalls when it is imperative you get somewhere.. but they turned around and went to the IO… I dont get it.. work hard frolic hard.. that is always how I kept my sailors happy.

        • RDF

          Captains don’t typically do that. Unless there is some danger in port to be avoided, or danger out of port to be confronted. The cost differential between sitting and steaming is significant. Small boys have to go also. Had to have been cargru staff in response to fleet orders. Too bad. Kids would have loved Australia.

          • fjwalker1959

            Yes, they were looking forward to Australia. My son loved it last year when the Vinson ported there after 6 months in the Persian Gulf.

  • The media has overblown its coverage of the Vinson CSG. At times the coverage assumed this flotilla was America’s only force option. There’s been almost no coverage of the 35,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea. No mention of Osan AFB just south of the DMZ. No mention of Kadena AFB on Okinawa, or two USN/USMC air stations in southern Japan. And no mention of standalone naval assets similar to the Syria/Tomahawk strike two weeks ago. Thanks to the uninitiated press, America’s only North Korean response was depicted as somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

    • Duane

      You’re wrong on multiple counts.

      First of all, the confusion over whether the Vinson group is going to Korea or not was entirely created by miscommunication by the Trump administration itself, not the media.

      Second, the major media certainly HAVE been covering our troops and airforces based in South Korea of late. Two weeks ago NBC news sent their evening news anchor and crew for most of an entire week spent at Osan Air Base in SoKo, interviewed the military members, filmed aircraft and ground force exercises, went to the DMZ, etc. Other networks have done similarly, what with all the attention focused on the NORKs since they tested their ICBMs.

      The confusion over what the Vinson group is doing is entirely the fault of the Administration, from the President to his SecDef to DOD spokespersons and their news releases.

      It makes us look dumb.

      • AmPatriotSmith

        And you know what? I tried to explain this to someone else. The miscommunication error was because the Trump administration is still under staffed. It could be the reason.

        • Duane

          That could be part of the reason why .. and whose fault is that? Trump hasn’t even proposed appointees for most of the key administration senior jobs, and specifically turned down Mattis on his choice of Dep SecDef.

          It’s totally on the Trump admin.

          • Murray

            So President Trump was threatening the DPRK with a CSG operating in the Indian Ocean! WTF? What next from this incompetent administration.
            Bearing in mind the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheon An by a North Korean submarine in 2010, I assume the CSG escorts are taking extra ASW precautions.

          • AmPatriotSmith

            The reason why you think this administration is incompetent is because our Congress is incompetent. Just think about it. Chuck Schumer the Senate Minority Leader has made a conscious effort to not work with this president at all. Trump is trying to do everything to move this country forward through executive action. Obama was stymied by the right because his policies were downright detrimental to the country. That was why Trump got elected in the first place.

          • AmPatriotSmith

            Yeah I know I heard something about that.

    • RDF

      Of course that is the point. To focus their attention on Vinson battlegroup.

  • Ed L

    I remember those extensions. They never used enough vaseline

    • RDF

      BOHICA

  • Marjus Plaku

    Further proof we need more carriers or need to figure our readiness and maintence issues out. This is not good enough.

    11 carriers and we can only deploy 1 or 2 or 3 at any time? Not sufficient to assure our vital interests all over the world and defend the homeland in this day and age.

    • Oskar

      “11 carriers and we can only deploy 1 or 2 or 3 at any time?”?

      If that’s true, maybe it’s time to rethink what size and complexity those carriers are?

      • RDF

        Not the boats. People.

        • Oskar

          Was there a point to your comment?

          Are you saying the USN doesn’t have the manpower for all it’s carriers?

          • RDF

            No. I am saying the people wear out long before the gear.

          • Oskar

            When was the last time ALL USN carriers deployed?

          • RDF

            Not the point. When you surge you cut down rest and turnaround time. Gulf war was a surge. You can do the surge. There are processes for it. But the crew’s cannot sustain it.

          • Oskar

            Answer the question.

          • RDF

            Back when the Langley was the only carrier we had. The question is irrelevant.

          • Oskar

            LMAO!!!

            Your squirming is amusing.

            Your ignorance is sad.

    • RDF

      We can surge 3 or 4 more minimum. The 3 is sustainable. You can surge to 6 or more. That is not sustainable.

  • Charles R Jones

    This was a brilliant set of moves! The USA carrier movements are and should be classified information to the extent feasible, which means plans for port calls/visits are often unprotectable. In this case of international tension, the USA got “credit” for “being on the way” to the Sea of Japan even when this particular Carrier Strike Group had other important plans, training with our Aussie friends (a very professional Navy, BTW). Everyone is sad to miss a port call, including the merchants who would benefit from thousands of visitors, but that is typical for such deployments and changing international situations. We did the Sea of Japan trek from Tonkin Gulf twice in the late 60’s, responding to actual provocative and anti-USA military actions by NK. At the time, we on Enterprise CVN-65 thought that having to be “at sea” for a continuous 40 days was also a bad deal. We got over it as the men that were killed in the plane that was shot down and the suffering of the USS Pueblo crew were really the problem. I should note that the Task Force 71 of 1969 coming north from the Vietnam theater including 4 carriers and a couple dozen support ships. We turned the entire Task Force 180 degrees (turned south) briefly as the Russian/Soviet Bear Bombers flew over us to take pictures (not fooling anyone, of course), then turned north again once the Bears were out of sight. We eventually had about 40 ships in the Sea of Japan ready to do whatever was needed.

    • RDF

      I can remember orbiting over Saratoga on tanker hi orbit, looking South at Africa, right there. Looking North at Europe, right there. Looking down at 100,000 tons of steel, hiding in the med. Ridiculous.

  • Gen. Buck Turgidson

    Better like the last admin,,”we cant ,,we wont ,,we are afraid etc’

  • RDF

    Flying cyclic ops around the clock is one thing. But missing an Aussie port call is absolutely inexcusable.