Carrier Strike Group Eleven

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Carrier Strike Group Eleven
CSG-11.JPG
Carrier Strike Group Eleven crest
Active 1 October 2004 to date.[1]
Country  United States of America
Branch  United States Navy
Type Carrier Strike Group
Role Naval air/surface warfare
Part of U.S. Third Fleet
Garrison/HQ Naval Station Everett, Washington[2]
Nickname Nimitz Carrier Strike Group
Motto Combat Proven
Engagements Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa (OEF-HOA)
Decorations

Navy Unit Commendation (2005)[3]

Meritorious Unit Commendation (2009)[4]
Website Official Website
Commanders
Commander Rear Admiral Dee L. Melbourne[5]
Chief of Staff Captain Michael J. Coury, USN[6]
Aircraft flown
Electronic
warfare
EA-6B Prowler[7]
E-2C Hawkeye[7]
Fighter F/A-18E/F Super Hornet[7]
F/A-18C Hornet[7]
Helicopter MH-60R Seahawk[7]
MH-60S Knighthawk[7]
Transport C-2A Greyhound[7]

Carrier Strike Group Eleven, abbreviated CSG-11 or CARSTRKGRU 11, is one of five U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Carrier strike groups gain and maintain sea control as well as project naval airpower ashore.[8][9]

The aircraft carrier Nimitz is the strike group's current flagship, and as of late 2014, other units assigned to Carrier Strike Group Eleven include Carrier Air Wing Eleven embarked on board the Nimitz, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser Princeton, and Destroyer Squadron 23.[Note 1][10][11]

Between 2006 and 2013, Carrier Strike Group Eleven made four deployments to the U.S. Fifth Fleet operating in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea, as well as a surge deployment with the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the western Pacific Ocean. The group participated in bilateral exercises Malabar 2005 and Malabar 2005, Key Resolve/Foal Eagle 2008, as well as joint exercise Valiant Shield 2007.

Historical background[edit]

On 1 September 1961, Rear Admiral Joseph C. Wylie became Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 9, aboard Oklahoma City. Admiral Wylie had arrived on board the Oklahoma City as Commander Cruiser Division 3 on 22 August 1961, and merely changed titles in September without shifting flagship.[12] As of 1 July 1969, the Oklahoma City was part of Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 9 at San Diego.[13] The primary mission of Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 9 during the Vietnam War era had been to ensure the effective employment of approximately 60 cruisers and destroyers in the United States Seventh Fleet. By January 1973, with the end of hostilities in Vietnam, the flotilla had expended nearly 80,000 rounds in naval gunfire support missions. This offshore firepower, and the equally important role of search and rescue coordination, were vital parts of the extensive naval presence in the South China Sea.[14] In 1973, a major reorganization of the U.S. Navy's cruiser-destroyer force resulted in Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 9's re-designation as Cruiser Destroyer Group 5 (CDG-5).

Rear Admiral Gerald E. Thomas served as Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5 in 1974-76. Then Captain Leon A. Edney served as Chief of Staff to the Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5 after 1976. In 1978 Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5 consisted of Destroyer Squadron 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, Destroyer Squadron 31, and Destroyer Squadron 37 (Naval Reserve Force). The headquarters and the three active squadrons were at San Diego while Destroyer Squadron 37 was at Seattle, WA.[15]

In the middle of 1992, the U.S. Navy instituted a concept which mandated greater task group integration of naval air and surface warfare assets into a more permanent carrier battle group structure. Instead of routinely changing the cruisers, destroyers, and frigates assigned to each carrier battle group, there was an attempt made to affiliate certain escorts more permanently with the carriers they escorted. Each of the Navy's 12 existing carrier battle groups was planned to consist of an aircraft carrier; an embarked carrier air wing; cruiser, destroyer, and frigate units; and two nuclear-powered attack submarines.[16] For details regarding this re-alignments as it pertained to Cruiser-Destroyer Group Five, see the chart below.[17]

Cruiser-Destroyer Group Five, late 1992[17]
Guided-Missile Cruisers Destroyer Squadron 17 Carrier Air Wing 15 squadrons embarked aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)
USS Cowpens (CG-63) USS Stethem (DDG-63) Fighter Squadron 111: F-14A Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125: E-2C
USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) Fighter Squadron 51: F-14A Sea Control Squadron 37: S-3B
USS William H. Standley (CG-32) USS Merrill (DD-976) Strike Fighter Squadron 97: F/A-18C Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 4: SH-60F, HH-60H
USS Leahy (CG-16) USS Elliot (DD-967) Strike Fighter Squadron 27: F/A-18C ——
—— USS Crommelin (FFG-37) Attack Squadron 52: A-6E, KA-6D ——
—— USS Jarrett (FFG-33) Electronic Warfare Squadron 132: EA-6B ——

On Aug. 1, 1992, Kitty Hawk was appointed as Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific's "ready carrier." The ship embarked Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5; Commander, Destroyer Squadron 17 and Carrier Air Wing 15 for three months of work-ups before deploying to the Western Pacific on November 3, 1992. While on deployment, Kitty Hawk spent nine days off the coast of Somalia supporting U.S. Marines and coalition forces involved in Operation Restore Hope. In response to increasing Iraqi violations of United Nations sanctions, the ship rushed to the Persian Gulf on December 27, 1992. Just 17 days later, Kitty Hawk led a joint, coalition offensive strike against designated targets in southern Iraq.

On 15 July 1998, Rear Admiral Daniel R. Bowler (and his relief RADM Peter W. Marzluff), Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5, assumed operational control of Nimitz.[18] Kitty Hawk had left the group by shifting her homeport to Yokosuka, Japan, arriving there on 11 August 1998.[19]

In July 2000, USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) was transferred to Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5 (up to June 2000 it had been part of Carrier Group 5). From 21 September 2001 to 13 December 2001, following an overhaul, Nimitz sailed round Cape Horn to her new home port of NAS North Island. Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 5 and CVWR-20, the latter comprising VFA-204, VAW-78, VS-22, VRC-30, HC-11 and HS-75, were aboard.[18] Carrier Air Wing Eleven was reassigned to Cruiser-Destroyer Group Five and the Nimitz in January 2002. Then Rear Admiral Samuel J. Locklear took command of CCDG-5/Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in 2002, deploying to the Middle East in 2003.

On 1 October 2004, Cruiser Destroyer Group 5 was re-designated Carrier Strike Group 11.[20]

Command structure[edit]

Commander Carrier Strike Group Eleven exercises oversight of unit-level training, integrated training, and readiness for assigned ships and units, as well as maintains administrative functions and material readiness tracking for ships and squadrons assigned to the strike group. The group's pre-deployment Composite Training Unit Exercise comes under the operational control of the U.S. Third Fleet. When deployed, the group comes under command of the numbered fleet in whose area it is operating (Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, or Seventh). When deployed in this fashion, the group utilizes a task group designator, for example, Task Group 50.1 in the Fifth Fleet area. Guided-missile cruisers such as Princeton provide air defence during deployments.[21]

Group commanders since February October 2002 have included:

Rear Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III October 2002-February 2004 Rear Admiral Derwood Curtis February 2004-February 2005

(February 2004 – February 2005)[22]
    • Rear Admiral Peter H. Daly   (February 2005 – August 2006)[22][23]
    • Rear Admiral John T. Blake   (August 2006 – March 2008)[23][24]
    • Rear Admiral John W. Miller   (March 2008 – March 2010)[24][25]
    • Rear Admiral Robert P. Girrier   (March 2010 – November 2011)[25]
    • Rear Admiral Peter A. Gumataotao   (November 2011 – February 2013)[26]
    • Rear Admiral Michael S. White   (February 2013 – February 2014)[5][26]
    • Rear Admiral (lower half) Dee L. Mewbourne   (February 2014 – Present)[5]

Operational history[edit]

2005 deployment[edit]

USS Princeton

From 11–24 March 2005, the group conducted a pre-deployment Joint Task Force exercise off California.[27] The group departed San Diego, California, on 7 May 2005 under the command of Rear Admiral Peter Daly.

On 21 July 2005 in the Persian Gulf, USS Princeton (pictured) responded to a radio call from the Iranian dhow Hamid which needed engineering assistance. A team was dispatched to the Hamid where it was determined that the engine problem was due to corroded batteries that were low on power. The batteries were removed and brought back to Princeton for maintenance, cleaning, and recharging. Princeton was able to restore the power on board Hamid, restart the engines, and then provided medical assistance and fresh water.[28]

On 22 September 2005, Carrier Strike Group Eleven departed the Persian Gulf after completing nine weeks of operations with the U.S. Fifth Fleet. During this period, 4,500 sorties totaling over 11,000 flight hours were flown by Carrier Air Wing Eleven, including over 1,100 sorties and 6,000 flight hours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.[18] Carrier Strike Group Eleven returned home on 8 November 2005.[29]

2005 deployment force composition[27][30][31]
CARSTRKGRU 11 Warships Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) squadrons embarked aboard flagship USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
USS Princeton (CG-59) Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232): 10 F/A-18C(N) Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117 (VAW-117): 4 E-2C 2000 NP
USS Chafee (DDG-90) Strike Fighter Squadron 94 (VFA-94): 10 F/A-18C(N) Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6 (HS-6): 2 HH-60S and 4 SH-60S
USS Higgins (DDG-76) Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41): 12 F/A-18F Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40), Det. 3: 2 C-2A
USS Louisville (SSN-724) Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (FA-14): 12 FA-18E ——
USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10) Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron 135 (VAQ-135): 4 EA-6B ——
2005 deployment exercises and port visits[29][32]
Number Exercises Port Visits Notes
Duration U.S. Force Type Operating Area Location Dates
1st: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Hong Kong 3-7 Jun. 2005 [33]
2nd: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Guam 17 Jun. 2005 [18]
3rd: 18-22 Jun. 2005 Carrier Strike Group 11 PASSEX: JMSDF[Note 2] Western Pacific Port Kelang, Malaysia 30 Jun. - 4 Jul. 2005 [18][33]
4th: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Bahrain 6-9 Aug. 2005 [34]
5th: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Dubai 1-6 Sep. 2005 [35]
6th: 27 Sep. – 5 Oct. 2005 Carrier Strike Group 11 Malabar 05: Indian Navy Indian Ocean Fremantle, Australia 7-12 Oct. 2005 [18]

2007 deployment[edit]

The group left San Diego on 2 April 2007 under the command of Rear Admiral John Blake.[36] The group entered the U.S. Fifth Fleet area on 8 May 2007 and began conducting missions over Afghanistan three days later.[37] The group joined Carrier Strike Group Three, led by the John C. Stennis, and relieved Carrier Strike Group Eight, led by the Dwight D. Eisenhower, that was currently operating in the Persian Gulf. The arrival of the strike group ensured the maintenance of the then two-U.S. carrier presence in the region.

Malabar 07-2 (Sept. 5, 2007)

Nimitz's escorts conducted maritime security operations.[36] Higgins boarded ships of interest in the Persian Gulf, as well as informing three Iraqi dhows on coalition aims and objectives. The VBSS teams boarded three Iraqi tugs and four super-tankers, thereby safeguarding the merchants in the region by deterring piracy and smuggling. Higgins was the only ship in the strike group to conduct a boarding of a tanker suspected of oil smuggling. After a thorough six-hour boarding, the VBSS team was able to clear the tanker.[21]

The guided-missile destroyer Pinckney participated in a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise with the Republic of Singapore Navy and three other U.S. Navy ships. The ships conducted air defense, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and VBSS operations in the compressed waters of the South China Sea, validating current tactics, techniques and procedures and identifying areas for further development.[21]

Carrier Strike Group Eleven joined Carrier Strike Group Five and Carrier Strike Group Three to participate in Exercise Valiant Shield 2007, a joint U.S. exercise held off Guam.[21] Carrier Strike Group Eleven subsequently joined the Carrier Strike Group Five and India’s aircraft carrier Viraat in the Bay of Bengal for the multilateral Exercise Malabar 07-2 (pictured), an annual naval exercise involving India, Australia, Japan, and Singapore.[21] The group arrived back at San Diego on 30 September 2007.[36]

2007 deployment force composition[36][38][39]
CARSTRKGRU 11 Warships/Units Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) squadrons embarked aboard flagship USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
USS Princeton (CG-59) Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232): 12 FA-18C(N) Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117 (VAW-117): 4 E-2C 2000 NP
USS Chafee (DDG-90) Strike Fighter Squadron 81 (VFA-81): 12 FA-18C(N) Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6 (HS-6): 2 HH-60S and 4 SH-60S
USS Higgins (DDG-76) Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41): 12 FA-18F Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40), Det. 3: 4 C-2A
USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14): 12 FA-18E Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49 (HLS-49) detachments (2)
EOD Unit 11, Det. 15 Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron 135 (VAQ-135): 4 EA-6B ——
2007 deployment exercises and port visits
Number Regional Exercises Port Visits Notes
Duration U.S. Force Bilateral/Multilateral Partner(s) Operating Area Location Dates
1st: —— Chafee —— —— Apra Harbor, Guam 21 Apr. 2007 [40]
2nd: 10 Jun. – 3 Jul. John Paul Jones Talisman Sabre 2007: Australian Defence Force Coral Sea Brisbane, Australia 10 Jun. 2007 [41][42][43]
3rd: 25 Jun. – 2 Jul. 2007 Higgins Nautical Union 2007: Saudi Arabia Persian Gulf —— —— [44][45]
4th: —— Nimitz, Pinckney —— —— Chennai, India 2 Jul. 2007 [46]
5th 17–31 Jul. 2007 Pinckney CARAT 2007: Republic of Singapore Navy Singapore Strait Singapore 13 Jul. 2007 [21][47][48]
6th: 7–14 Aug. 2007 Carrier Strike Group 11 Valiant Shield 2007: U.S. Pacific Command Guam operating area —— —— [21]
7th: —— Nimitz —— —— Hong Kong 20-24 Aug. 2007 [46]
8th: 4-10 Sep. 2007 Carrier Strike Group 11 Exercise Malabar 2007: India, Australia, Japan, and Singapore Bay of Bengal Singapore 5 Sep. 2007 [46]
9th: —— Nimitz —— —— Pearl Harbor 22-24 Sep. 2007 [46]

2008 deployment[edit]

Carrier Strike Group Eleven departed from San Diego on 24 January 2008. It was announced that the group would operate in the Western Pacific while the forward-based USS Kitty Hawk of Carrier Strike Group Eight underwent scheduled maintenance in Yokosuka, Japan.[49] The strike group entered the U.S. Seventh Fleet area of responsibility on 8 February 2008.[50] On 9 February 2008, two Russian Tu-95 'Bear' bombers were detected by the strike group in the Western Pacific. Four F/A-18C Hornets intercepted the bombers 50 miles (80 km) south of Nimitz. Two F/A-18s trailed one of the bombers, which buzzed the deck of the carrier twice, while the other two F/A-18s trailed another Tu-95 circling about 50 miles (80 km) away from the carrier. Reportedly, there was no radio communication between the American and Russian aircraft. According to the Department of Defense, one of the two aircraft was said to have flown above Nimitz at an altitude of 2,000 feet (610 m).[51] The strike group returned to San Diego on 2 June 2008.[52]

2008 deployment force composition[49][53][54][55][56]
CARSTRKGRU 11 Warships Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) squadrons embarked aboard flagship USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
USS Princeton (CG-59) Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232): 10 F/A-18C(N) Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6 (HS-6): 3 HH-60S and 4 SH-60S
USS Pinckney (DDG-91) Strike Fighter Squadron 81 (VFA-81): 10 F/A-18C(N) Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40), Det. 3: 2 C-2A
USS Chafee (DDG-90) Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41): 12 F/A-18F Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49 (HLS-49) detachments (2)
USS Higgins (DDG-76) Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14): 12 F/A-18E ——
USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron 135 (VAQ-135): 4 EA-6B ——
EOD Unit 11, Det. 15 Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117 (VAW-117): 4 E-2C 2000 NP ——
2008 deployment exercises and port visits
Number Regional Exercises Port Visits Notes
Duration U.S. Force American/Bilateral/Multilateral Partner(s) Operating Area Location Dates
1st: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Sasebo, Japan 11 Feb. 2008 [57]
2nd: —— Nimitz, Princeton, John Paul Jones —— —— Busan, South Korea 28 Feb. 2008 [58]
3rd: —— Chaffee —— —— Donghae, South Korea 28 Feb. 2008 [58]
4th: —— Higgins —— —— Pohang, South Korea 28 Feb. 2008 [58]
5th: 2–13 March 2008 Carrier Strike Group 11 Key Resolve/Foal Eagle 2008: Republic of Korea Armed Forces Western Pacific —— —— [52][59][60]
6th: 14–16 Mar. 2008 Carrier Strike Group 11 Expeditionary Strike Force (ESF) exercise: Task Force 76 (Essex) Western Pacific —— —— [61]
7th: 29 Mar. 2008 Carrier Strike Group 11 Joint air operations: Kitty Hawk and Carrier Strike Group Five Western Pacific Hong Kong 4-6 Apr. 2008 [61]
8th: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Apra Harbor, Guam 17-20 Apr. 2008 [61]

2009-2010 deployment[edit]

CSG 11 in South China Sea (Feb. 15, 2010)

Carrier Strike Group Eleven departed San Diego on 31 July 2009 on a regularly scheduled deployment commanded by Rear Admiral John W. Miller.[62][63] In September 2009, it was announced that the carrier strike group deployment schedule would be changed to accommodate the delay in the return of Enterprise from overhaul. This resulted in extending the deployment to eight months.[64]

On 4 December 2009, the group began five months in the northern Arabian Sea, providing air support to coalition forces in Afghanistan.[65] Carrier-based aircraft provided 30 percent of the combat air support for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) during the time that the group was in the northern Arabian Sea.[66] VAW-117's E-2C Hawkeye aircraft used their radar and communication systems to synchronize and direct air crews over Afghanistan.[67] Also, EA-6B Prowlers assigned to squadron VAQ-135 jammed electronic signals in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.[68] Effective 2 July 2009, ISAF air-ground combat support operations were ordered to take steps to minimize Afghan civilian casualties.[68][69] In total, Carrier Air Wing 11 air crews flew more than 2,600 combat sorties supporting ISAF.[70] The other strike group ships contributed to counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, the protection of critical Iraqi infrastructure in the Persian Gulf, and other maritime security operations.[66][70] On 26 March 2010, the strike group returned to their homeport after an eight-month deployment.[71]

2009-2010 deployment force composition[54][55][62][63][72]
CARSTRKGRU 11 Warships Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) squadrons embarked aboard flagship USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
USS Chosin (CG-65) Fighter Strike Squadron 97 (VFA-97): 12 F/A-18C(N) Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117 (VAW-117): 4 E-2C 2000 NP
USS Sampson (DDG-102) Strike Fighter Squadron 86 (VFA-86): 10 F/A-18C(N) Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6 (HS-6): 7 HH-60S/SH-60S
USS Pinckney (DDG-91) Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41): 12 F/A-18F Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40), Det. 3: 2 C-2A
USS Rentz (FFG-46) Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14): 12 F/A-18E ——
USNS Bridge (T-AOE-10) Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron 135 (VAQ-135): 4 EA-6B ——
2009-2010 deployment exercises and port visits
Number Regional Exercises Port Visits Notes
Duration U.S. Force Bilateral/Multilateral Partner(s) Operating Area Location Dates
1st: 11 Aug. 2009 Carrier Strike Group 11 Undersea Warfare Exercise 09 (USWEX 09) Hawaiian operating area —— —— [73]
2nd: —— Nimitz, Sampson —— —— Yokosuka Naval Base 28 Aug. 2009 [61][74]
3rd: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Singapore 8 Sept. 2009 [61][66]
4th: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Bahrain 24 Oct. 2009 [61][66]
5th: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Phuket, Thailand 31 Jan. – 3 Feb. 2010 [61][66]
6th 1-7 Feb. 2010 Carrier Strike Group 11 Royal Malaysian Navy & Royal Malaysian Air Force South China Sea Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 7-10 Feb. 2010 [61][66][75]
7th: —— Carrier Strike Group 11 —— —— Hong Kong 17 Feb. 2010 [61][66][76]

2011-2013 operations[edit]

RIMPAC 2012 (July 27, 2012)
Sustainment Exercise (April 8, 2013)

On 11 May 2011, the U.S. Navy announced a change in Permanent Duty Station for Carrier Strike Group Eleven from Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, to Naval Station Everett, Washington, in December 2011.[2]

On 11 June 2012, Nimitz departed Everett and once Carrier Air Wing Eleven was embarked, departed Naval Air Station North Island, California, on 15 June 2012 for carrier qualifications.[77] The Air Wing consisted of U.S. Navy strike fighter squadrons VFA-154, VFA-147, and VFA-146; U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadron VMFA-323; airborne early warning squadron VAW-117; electronic warfare squadron VAQ-142; helicopter squadrons HSC-6 and HSM-75; and Detachment 3 from squadron VRC-30.[78][79]

On 2 July 2012, Nimitz pulled into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for a four-day port call prior to participating in Exercise RIMPAC 2012 that was scheduled from 29 June to 3 August 2012.[77][80] Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing Eleven were the only aircraft carrier and carrier air wing to participate in RIMPAC 2012 (pictured).[81] Following RIMPAC 2012, Nimitz departed Pearl Harbor on 3 August 2012, arriving at North Island on 9 August 2012.[77] The aircraft from Carrier Air Wing Eleven flew off Nimitz on 8 August 2012 to return to their home air stations.[82] Nimitz returned to Naval Station Everett, Washington, on 20 August 2012, completing a 70-day underway period.[77]

On 29 September 2012 Nimitz departed Naval Station Everett to begin its pre-deployment training cycle and certification exercises under the supervision of the Commander, Strike Force Training Pacific.[77][83][84] Joining Nimitz were Carrier Air Wing Eleven, the guided-missile cruiser Princeton, and the guided-missile destroyers Higgins, Shoup, Stockdale, and William P. Lawrence.[83]

On 17 October 2012, the group began its 18-day pre-deployment Composite Training Unit Exercise.[77][85] On 13 November 2012, Nimitz pulled into Naval Air Station North Island, California, to disembark part of the air wing.[77] On 21 November 2012, it was announced that the strike group's deployment would be delayed because a cooling pump aboard the Nimitz needed to be repaired. It was also announced that Nimitz would now deploy in summer 2013.[77][86]

Following repairs, on 5 April 2013, the Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing Eleven departed Naval Air Station North Island, California, to begin their scheduled Sustainment Exercise (pictured) to re-certify Carrier Strike Group Eleven's readiness to deploy.[87] They joined the guided-missile cruiser Princeton which had departed on 3 April 2013.[88]

2013 deployment[edit]

With the Nimitz undergoing repairs, Carrier Strike Group Eleven deployed in two groups. The first group consisted of four destroyers operating initially as a surface action group until the Nimitz and the rest of the strike group deployed three months later.[26][77][86] At the start of 2014, Carrier Strike Group Eleven was not underway.[89]

2013 deployment force composition[26][90][91][92][93][94]
Group Warships/Units Carrier Air Wing 11 squadrons aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
Surface Action Group Carrier Escorts/Units Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323: 10 F/A-18C(N) Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117: 4 E-2C
USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110) USS Princeton (CG-59) Strike Fighter Squadron 154: 12 F/A-18F Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6: 6 MH-60S
USS Stockdale (DDG-106) USS Preble (DDG-88) Strike Fighter Squadron 147: 12 F/A-18E Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75: 11 MH-60R
USS Shoup (DDG-86) USS Momsen (DDG-92) Strike Fighter Squadron 146: 10 F/A-18C Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30, Detach. 3: 2 C-2A
USS Higgins (DDG-76) EODMU-11 Electronic Attack Squadron 142: 4 EA-6B ——

Surface action group[edit]

On 14 January 2013, the destroyers Higgins, Shoup, Stockdale, and William P. Lawrence departed Naval Base San Diego, California, for a deployment to the Middle East.[95] These ships operated with the U.S. Fifth Fleet as a surface action group until the Nimitz, Carrier Air Wing Eleven, and the guided-missile cruiser Princeton deployed.[26][86] This is the Lawrence '​s maiden deployment.[96]

Strait of Hormuz (March 14, 2013)

On 1 March 2013, the William P. Lawrence entered the Persian Gulf for operations with Carrier Strike Group Three. On 11 March 2013, the Lawrence rendered assistance to a burning vessel while operating in the Strait of Hormuz (pictured).[97] In April 2012, on two separate occasions, the Lawrence joined the French frigate Montcalm in rendering assistance to civilian mariners in distress while operating in the Gulf of Oman as part of Combined Task Force 150.[98] Starting 2 September 2013, William P. Lawrence began operating in the Red Sea as part of Carrier Strike Group Eleven.[99][100]

Following bilateral mine countermeasure exercises in the Persian Gulf, the USS Higgins subsequently departed the U.S. Fifth Fleet's area of operations. After paying port-visits to Thailand, Japan, and Guam, the Higgins arrived at Naval Base San Diego, California, on 7 October 2013, completing a nine-month-long deployment.[101][102] [103] On 8 November 2013, the Stockdale and William P. Lawrence returned to Naval Base San Diego, California, completing a ten-month-long deployment.[99][104][105] On 18 November 2013, the USS Shoup arrived back at Naval Station Everett, Washington. At 313 days, the Shoup completed the longest deployment by a U.S. Navy destroyer since World War Two.[106][107]

2013 deployment exercises and port visits
Number Regional Exercises Port Visits Notes
Duration U.S. Force Bilateral/Multilateral Partner(s) Operating Area Location Dates
1st: 20–23 Jan. 2013 William P. Lawrence, Stockdale, Shoup, Higgins Undersea Warfare Exercise Hawaiian Islands —— —— [99][101][104][107]
2nd: —— Shoup —— —— Yokosuka Naval Base 4–8 Feb. 2013 [107]
3rd: —— Higgins —— —— Koror, Palau 4–9 Feb. 2013 [101][108]
4th: —— Stockdale —— —— Subic Bay, Philippines 5 Feb. 2013 [104][109]
5th: —— William P. Lawrence, Stockdale, Higgins —— —— Singapore 15–19 Feb. 2013 [99][101][104]
6th: 4–8 Mar. 2013 William P. Lawrence AMAN 2013[Note 3] North Arabian Sea Karachi, Pakistan 3 Mar. 2013 [99][110]
7th: —— Stockdale —— —— Hidd, Bahrain 12–17 Mar. 2013 [104]
8th: —— William P. Lawrence —— —— Hidd, Bahrain 15–18 Mar. 2013 [99]
9th: 23–24 Mar. 2013 Higgins Joint air-sea exercises[Note 4] Persian Gulf Jebel Ali, UAE 15 Apr. 2012 [101][111]
10th: —— Stockdale —— —— Jebel Ali, UAE 9–13 Apr. 2013 [104]
11th: —— William P. Lawrence —— —— Jebel Ali, UAE 26–30 Apr. 2013 [99][112]
12th: 28 Apr. to 6 May 2013 Stockdale Eagle Resolve 2013: PSF Persian Gulf Eilat, Israel 28–31 May 2013 [107][113]
13th: 16–30 May 2013 William P. Lawrence IMCMEX 13: CTF 521 Persian Gulf Hidd, Bahrain 12–13 May 2013 [99][114]
14th: 30 Jun. 2013 Higgins RFA Cardigan Bay Persian Gulf Hidd, Bahrain 26–30 May 2013 [101][102]
15th: —— William P. Lawrence —— —— Jubail, Saudi Arabia 11 Jun 2013 [99]
16th: 17 Jun 2013 Stockdale Eager Lion 2013 Red Sea Aqaba, Jordan 17 Jun 2013 [107]
17th: —— Higgins, Shoup —— —— Hidd, Bahrain 19-23 Jun 2013 [101][107]
18th: —— William P. Lawrence —— —— Muscat, Oman 26-30 Jun. 2013 [99]
19th: 10-14 Aug. 2013 Shoup Exercise Spartan Kopis Persian Gulf Jebel Ali, U.A.E. 15 Aug. 2013 [107]
20th: —— William P. Lawrence, Stockdale, Shoup —— —— Singapore 14–17 Oct. 2013 [99][101][107]

Nimitz strike group[edit]

Flight deck ops in the Gulf of Oman (June 13, 2013)
Suez Canal (October 20, 2013)
Nimitz alongside the Italian destroyer Francesco Mimbelli in the Mediterranean (October 26, 2013)

On 19 April 2013, the Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing Eleven departed Naval Air Station North Island, California, joining the cruiser Princeton to begin their deployment.[90] On 3 May 2013, the two ships joined the U.S. Seventh Fleet.[91] Nimitz and Princeton exercised with the Republic of Korea Navy amid the ongoing 2013 Korean crisis over North Korean actions.[115][116][117] The strike group's deployment to the Seventh Fleet coincided with the joint exercises of the China's three operational fleets in the South China Sea amid the ongoing Spratly Islands dispute between China and the Philippines.[118]

Carrier Strike Group Eleven entered the U.S. Fifth Fleet's area of operations on 9 June 2013, relieving Carrier Strike Group Eight.[119] On 13 June 2013, Carrier Air Wing Eleven aircraft launched their first combat sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (pictured).[117] The British Type 45 destroyer Dragon also joined the group in the Gulf of Oman. The Royal Navy warship maintained anti-aircraft defenses, directed aircraft sorties, and provided assistance to returning planes landing on the Nimitz.[120]

On 22 August 2013, USS Momsen returned to Naval Station Everett, Washington, after a four-month underway period of independent operations with the U.S. Seventh Fleet. During part of this period, Momsen operated with Carrier Strike Group Five led by the carrier George Washington.[121]

Carrier Strike Group Eleven was relieved by Carrier Strike Group Ten on 26 August 2013.[122] At the time of this relief, Carrier Air Wing 11 had completed over 1,200 sorties in support of combat operations in Afghanistan for a total of 6,500 flight hours.[123] Both U.S. Navy carrier strike groups initially remained in the north Arabian Sea pending potential military action against Syria amid allegations that the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons during the ongoing Syrian civil war, including the gas attacks that occurred on 21 August 2013.[124]

On 2 September 2013, Carrier Strike Group Eleven transited the Bab-el-Mandeb and moved northward into the Red Sea for potential combat operations against Syria. At the time of this redeployment, the strike group consisted of the carrier Nimitz with Carrier Air Wing 11 embarked, the cruiser Princeton, and the destroyers William P. Lawrence, Stockdale, and Shoup.[117][100] On 12 September 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that U.S. naval forces would remain in the region as Russian and American diplomats negotiated the turn-over of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons to the United Nations, with spokesman George E. Little noting: "We’re prepared for any potential military contingencies that might involve Syria."[125][126]

On 20 October 2013, Carrier Strike Group Eleven departed the Red Sea, transited the Suez Canal (pictured), and joined the U.S. Sixth Fleet.[123][127] This is the first time that the carrier Nimitz had operated in the Mediterranean Sea since 1998 (pictured).[123] On 8 November 2013, Carrier Strike Group Eleven transited the Suez Canal, leaving the U.S. Sixth Fleet's area of operations.[117][128] Nimitz was initially slated to provide support to Operation Damayan, the U.S. military's humanitarian mission to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, but the U.S. Pacific Fleet directed Nimitz to return to base.[129]

On 29 October 2013, USS Princeton returned to Naval Station San Diego, California, following an extended seven-month deployment. Following operations with the U.S. Fifth and Seventh fleets, Princeton paid port-calls to the United Arab Emirates, Guam, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.[88] On 28 November 2013, USS Preble returned to Naval Station San Diego.[130] On 11 December 2013, squadrons of Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) began departing the carrier Nimitz to return to their home naval air stations. During this 252-day deployment, CVW-11 aircraft made 9,344 launches and flew 1,374 sorties in support of combat operations in Afghanistan for a total of over 29,440 flight hours.[131][132] On 12 December 2013, the carrier Nimitz arrived at Naval Station San Diego, California, completing the eight-and-a-half month-long 2013 overseas deployment for Carrier Strike Group Eleven.[132] Nimitz returned to Naval Station Everett, Washington, on 16 December 2013.[133]

2013 deployment exercises and port visits
Number Regional Exercises Port Visits Notes
Duration U.S. Force Bilateral/Multilateral Partner(s) Operating Area Location Dates
1st: —— Carrier Strike Group Eleven —— —— Phuket, Thailand 28–30 May 2013 [88][117][134]
2nd: 22-26 Jun. 2013 Preble Pacific Bond 2013[Note 5] Philippine Sea Fleet Activities Yokosuka 29 May 2013 [130][135]
3rd: —— Preble —— —— Guam 27 Jun to 2 Jul 2013 [130]
4th: —— Carrier Strike Group Eleven —— —— Dubai, UAE 5-9 Jul 2013 [117][136]
5th: —— Preble —— —— Sydney, Australia 29 Jul. 2013 [130]
6th: —— Princeton —— —— Singapore 14–17 Oct. 2013 [88]
7th: —— Preble —— —— Busan, ROK 14–17 Oct. 2013 [130]
8th: 22 Oct. 2013 Carrier Strike Group Eleven Air defense exercise: Chevalier Paul Mediterranean Sea Naples, Italy 30 Oct. 2013 [117][137]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ As of 2014, Destroyer Squadron 23 consists of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Spruance (DDG-111), USS Sampson (DDG-102), USS Pinckney (DDG-91), and USS Howard (DDG-83), as well as the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG-48).
  2. ^ Destroyers Akebono (DD-108), Makinami (DD-112) and Myōkō (DDG-175).
  3. ^ For AMAN 2013, participating navies included Pakistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and the US, as well as 20 observer nations.
  4. ^ Destroyer Squadron 50, USS Green Bay (LPD-20), USS Sirocco (PC-6), USS Chinook (PC-9), USS Whirlwind (PC-11), and several United States air assets.
  5. ^ Destroyer Squadron 15, USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), HMAS Sydney (FFG-03), JDS Murasame.
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Sources[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit]