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Search Underway for Sailor Missing from USS Nimitz

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) steams in the Indian Ocean during a cooperative deployment with the Indian Navy July 20, 2020. US Navy Photo

A search is underway in the Middle East for a sailor assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN-68) who has gone missing from the aircraft carrier, U.S. 5th Fleet announced on Sunday.

Nimitz and guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59) are currently searching the North Arabian Sea for the missing sailor, according to the brief statement.

“The sailor has been listed as duty status whereabouts unknown (DUSTWUN) onboard Nimitz, read the Sunday statement. “The sailor’s name is being held in accordance with U.S. Navy policy. Updates will be provided as they become available.”

Nimitz has been operating just outside the Persian Gulf since late July. The Bremerton, Wash., based carrier deployed from San Diego on June 8.

The carrier was the first since the COVID-19 outbreak to implement precautions and procedures to stanch an outbreak of the virus.

The 8,000 sailors of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and Carrier Air Wing 17 entered an isolation period in early April – Nimitz at its homeport in Bremerton, Wash., and the CSG staff and air wing in California.

Carrier Strike Group 11
San Diego-based CSG 11 commands the Nimitz CSG and is embarked on the carrier.

Aircraft carrier
USS Nimitz (CVN-68), homeported in Bremerton, Wash.

Carrier Air Wing 17
Carrier Air Wing 17, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., is embarked on Nimitz and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Redcocks” of VFA 22 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) F/A-18F Super Hornet – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Kestrels” of VFA137 F/A-18 E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Mighty Shrike” of VFA 94 F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Death Rattlers” of VMFA-323 F/A-18C – from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar San Diego, Calif.
  • The “Cougars” of VAQ-139 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) EA-18G Growlers – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island – Wash.
  • The “Sun Kings” of VAW-116 –Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) E2C Hawkeye – from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) C-2 – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Screamin’ Indians” of HSC-6 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) MH-60S– from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Battlecats” of HSM-73 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) MH-60R – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.

Cruiser
USS Princeton (CG-59), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Destroyer Squadron 9
Destroyer Squadron 9 is based at Naval Station Everett, Wash. The DESRON commodore and staff are embarked on Nimitz.

  • USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • USS Sterett (DDG-104), homeported in San Diego, Calif.
  • USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) homeported in Everett, Wash.

The following is the complete Sept. 6, 2020 statement.

Search and Rescue Efforts for Missing U.S. Navy Sailor in North Arabian Sea

From U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

“The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) are currently conducting search and rescue operations in the North Arabian Sea following reports of a missing U.S. Navy Sailor, Sept. 6.

The Sailor has been listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) onboard Nimitz. The Sailor’s name is being held in accordance with U.S. Navy policy. Updates will be provided as they become available.”