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USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: March 19, 2018

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The USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker is sponsored by CNA. These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of March 19, 2018, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the map reflects the location of the capital ship.

Total U.S. Navy Battle Force:

282

Ships Underway

Deployed Ships Underway Non-deployed Ships Underway Total Ships Underway
57 29 86

Ships Deployed by Fleet

Fleet Forces 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total
0 5 1 22 18 50 96

In the Western Pacific

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), front, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH-182) participate in a bilateral exercise on March 17, 2018. US Navy Photo

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group began a bilateral exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force on March 11 as part of its regularly scheduled deployment in the Western Pacific.

“The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-112) are conducting combined operations with the Japanese destroyer JS Ise (DDH-182) to enhance maritime interoperability between the longstanding allies” read a report in Times of San Diego.
“As part of the exercise, four Japanese liaison officers are on Vinson to support combined operations. The operations will include formation steaming as well as anti-submarine and air-defense training. Ise will also conduct a replenishment-at-sea with Carl Vinson.”

Vinson is in the Western Pacific at a time the Navy’s only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier is moored in its homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, for a planned maintenance period.

Carrier Strike Group 1

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Black Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4 flies near Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on March 15, 2018.

Carrier Air Wing 2

CVW 2 is embarked aboard Carl Vinson and includes nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Bounty Hunters” of Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Blue Blasters” of VFA-34 from Naval Air Station Oceania, Va.
  • The “Kestrels” of VFA-137 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Golden Dragons” of VFA-192 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Gauntlets” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136 from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Black Eagles” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113 from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Black Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4 from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM 78) from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.

Destroyer Squadron 1
The leadership of DESRON 1 is embarked aboard Carl Vinson and commands the CSG’s guided-missile destroyers.

  • USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108), homeported in San Diego, Calif.
  • USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Guided-missile Cruiser
USS Lake Champlain (CG-57), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is in port in Yokosuka, Japan, for a maintenance availability.

USS Wasp (LHD-1) Marines and Sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked aboard the ships of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) for the regularly-scheduled Spring Patrol 2018, from White Beach, Okinawa, Japan, March 19.

USS Wasp (LHD-1) and the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD-20) are moored at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan on March 16, 2018. US Navy Photo

“The members of the 31st MEU are excited for this historic deployment,” said, The 31st MEU is the first MEU to be operationally deployed with F-35B short take-off/vertical landing jets. The aircraft, with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, 31st MEU, will also be deployed with an amphibious ready group for the first time ever during the patrol,” according to the service.

Wasp, USS Ashland (LSD-48) and USS Green Bay (LPD-20), make up the core Wasp ARG.

USS Sterett (DDG-104) and USS Dewey (DDG-105) are on a scheduled deployment to conduct operations in the Indo-Pacific region. They will also support the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) in order to advance U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Up-Gunned ESG concept and will train with forward-deployed amphibious ships across all mission areas.

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) is underway in the Philippine Sea.

Seaman Apprentice Xzavier Lindemood throws a messenger line from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) as the ship arrives at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan on March 12, 2018. US NAvy Photo

USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) arrived in Guam on March 16 as part of Pacific Partnership 2018.

The port stop at Apra Harbor will continue through March 19 and see personnel conducting mission preparations, conducting routine maintenance, loading additional supplies onto the ship, and linking up with mission personnel from the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Brunswick (T-EPF-6), the second U.S. ship participating in PP18.”

“The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4) will be replaced by [Brunswick] as the secondary mission platform for the 2018 Pacific Partnership mission due to emerging maintenance requirements,” read a statement from the Navy.
“The maintenance for Fall River will exceed the time required for Pacific Partnership personnel to arrive at their initial mission stops… The ship replacement will not impact the Pacific Partnership mission.”

USNS Brunswick (T-EPF-6) departs Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va. in 2017. US Navy Photo

Brunswick is scheduled to depart from Guam with embarked mission personnel in mid-March destined for initial stops in Yap and Palau. Fall River’s repairs will be expedited and the ship is scheduled to return to operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet in the near future.”

In the Persian Gulf

USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71) operates in the Persian Gulf on March 10, 2018. USNI News photo

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway and conducting flight operations in the Persian Gulf.

Theodore Roosevelt and its carrier strike group are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region,” read a statement from the service.

USNI News visited the strike group earlier this month and learned how the CSG is adjusting to the changing security environment in the Persian Gulf.

Carrier Strike Group 9

Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Alexis Steele inspects the canopy of an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the Fighting Redcocks of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 22, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on March 17, 2018. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier:
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Carrier Air Wing 17
CVW 17 is embarked aboard Theodore Roosevelt and includes nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Stingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Mighty Shrikes” of VFA-94 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Redcocks” of VFA-22 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Checkerboards” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 312 from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C.
  • The “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139 from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Sun Kings” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116 from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Battlecats” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.

Destroyer Squadron 23
The leadership of DESRON 23 is embarked aboard Theodore Roosevelt and commands the CSG’s guided-missile destroyers.

  • USS Sampson (DDG-102), homeported in Everett, Wash.
  • USS Preble (DDG-88), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • USS Halsey (DDG-97), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Guided-missile Cruiser
USS Bunker Hill (CG-52), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

In the Mediterranean Sea

Marines assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 perform maintenance on MV-22B Ospreys aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) on March 10, 2018. US Navy Photo

USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) is in port in Limassol, Cyprus. USS Oak Hill (LSD-51) is in port in Batumi, Georgia.

The ARG which deployed on Feb. 7 from Mayport, Fla., includes amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD-21), dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD-51), Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 8 and FST-4, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 22, components of Naval Beach Group (NBG) 2 and the embarked staff of Amphibious Squadron 4.

In the Eastern Pacific

An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 sits on the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) on March 7, 2018. US Navy Photo

The Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are underway in the Southern California Operating Areas are conducting an ARG Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise.

Sailors and Marines work together to fight a simulated fire on the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) as part of the Navy’s first ARG SWATT on March 10, 2018. US Navy Photo

“The exercise is focused on advanced tactical training at sea to improve warfighting proficiency, lethality, and ship interoperability before further training in the ARG’s deployment cycle. Units participating in the Essex ARG SWATT are Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 1, USS Essex (LHD-2), USS Anchorage (LPD-23) and USS Rushmore (LSD-47). They will also operate with embarked forces representing elements of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VFMA 211),” read a statement from the service.

Essex will be the first West Coast ARG to deploy with the F-35B.

In the Western Atlantic

Airman Nicholas Brooks shovels snow on an aircraft elevator aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on March 12, 2018. US Navy Photo

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is underway in the Virginia Capes operating areas.

In addition to these major formations, not shown are thousands of others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Coast Guard cutters and more serving throughout the globe.

  • Ed L

    We need a Carrier in the Med to pound in pulp the turkish forces in Syria that are murdering Kurdish men, women and children.

    • publius_maximus_III

      The Kurds are almost as good an ally in the ME as Israel.

  • publius_maximus_III

    The stacks of the USS Meyer seem to be right next to the USS Vinson’s flight deck, with the Rising Sun ensign of the Japanese destroyer in the background. Is that just an optical illusion from the telephoto lens, or is it that close in for refuelling from the carrier?