Carrier Strike Group Twelve

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Carrier Strike Group Twelve
Carrier Strike Group 12 logo.jpg
Carrier Strike Group Twelve emblem
Active 1 October 2004 to date.[1]
Country United States of America
Branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Type Carrier Strike Group
Role Naval air/surface warfare
Part of United States Fleet Forces Command
Garrison/HQ Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia
Nickname Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group
Engagements Operation Iraqi Freedom
War in Afghanistan
Operation Medusa
Operation Mountain Fury
Operation New Dawn
Website Official Website
Commanders
Commander Rear Admiral Andrew L. "Woody" Lewis, USN[2][3]
Chief of Staff Captain Rinehart M. Wilke, USN[4]
Command Master Chief CTTCS (SW) Jeremy K. Byrd, USN[5]
Aircraft flown
Electronic
warfare
EA-18G Growler[6]
E-2C Hawkeye[6]
Fighter F/A-18E/F Super Hornet[6]
F/A-18C Hornet[6]
Helicopter SH-60F Seahawk[6]
MH-60R Seahawk[6]
MH-60S Seahawk[6]
Transport C-2A Greyhound[6]

Carrier Strike Group Twelve (CSG-12 or CARSTRKGRU 12) is one of four U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the United States Fleet Forces Command. Carrier strike groups gain and maintain sea control as well as project naval airpower ashore.[7][8]

The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt is the strike group's current flagship, replacing the recently deactivated Enterprise.[9][10] As of 2013, other units assigned to the group included Carrier Air Wing One embarked on board the Theodore Roosevelt; the Ticonderoga-class cruisers Vicksburg and Normandy; and Destroyer Squadron 2.[Note 1][9][11]

Between 2006 and 2011, with Enterprise as its flagship, Carrier Strike Group Twelve made four deployments to the U.S. Fifth Fleet operating in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea. Strike group aircraft flew over 13,000 air combat missions in support of coalition ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, including 2006's Operation Medusa and Operation Mountain Fury in Iraq. The group's surface warships were also involved in several high-profile anti-piracy operations. The group participated in the multi-lateral exercises Anatolian Sun 2006, Reliant Mermaid 2007, and BALTOPS 2008; the bilateral exercise Inspired Union 2006; and the joint exercise Exercise Bold Alligator 2012.

Historical background[edit]

On 30 June 1973, Commander Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla Eight was re-designated as Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight (CCDG-8). Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 8 subsequently served as the Immediate Superior-in-Command (ISIC) for the Saratoga, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Theodore Roosevelt carrier battle groups. The group took part in Operation Southern Watch and Operation Deny Flight.[12]

In 1986, while commanding Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight, Rear Admiral David E. Jeremiah commanded the Saratoga carrier battle group and Task Group 60.2 of the U.S. Sixth Fleet during a series of operations code-named Attain Document. They were intended to assert freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Sidra as well as to challenge the territorial claims of Libya to that body of water. Subsequently, the Saratoga carrier battle group and the rest of Task Force 60 carried out Operation El Dorado Canyon, a series of punitive air-strikes against Libya in retaliations to the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing. During both operations, Admiral Jeremiah commanded Task Force 60, the three-carrier task force of the Sixth Fleet, code-named Battle Force Zulu.[13][14]

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.[15] For details regarding this re-alignments as it pertained to Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight, see the chart below.[16]

During the early period of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Commander Carrier Destroyer Group Eight was embarked aboard Theodore Roosevelt as a part of Task Force 60, striking Iraqi targets from the Mediterranean Sea.

On 1 September 2004, Rear Admiral James W. Stevenson, Jr., Commander Cruiser Destroyer Group Eight, took command of the Enterprise group.[17] Admiral Stevenson had been in command of Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight since May 2004.[18] Formerly, the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group had been under the command of Commander Cruiser Destroyer Group Twelve (CCDG-12) based in Naval Station Mayport, Florida.[19] On 1 October 2004, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight (CruDesGru 8) was re-designated as Carrier Strike Group Twelve.[1]

Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight, late 1992[16]
Cruisers/Submarines Destroyer Squadron 24 Carrier Air Wing 17 squadrons embarked aboard USS Saratoga (CV-60)
USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) USS Hayler (DD-997) USS John L. Hall (FFG-32) Fighter Squadron 103: F-14B Airborne Early Warning Sqd. 125: E-2C
USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) USS Moosbrugger (DD-980) USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG-29) Fighter Squadron 74: F-14B Sea Control Squadron 30: S-3B
USS Biddle (CG-34) USS Comte de Grasse (DD-974) USS Gallery (FFG-26) Strike Fighter Squadron 83: F/A-18C Helicopter Anti-Submarine Sqd. 9: SH-3H
USS Dale (CG-19) USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968) USS Jack Williams (FFG-24) Strike Fighter Squadron 81: F/A-18C ——
USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN-705) —— —— Attack Squadron 35: A-7E ——
USS Billfish (SSN-676) —— —— Airborne Early Warning Sqd. 132: EA-6B ——

Command structure[edit]

Commander Carrier Strike Group Twelve (COMCARSTRKGRU 12 or CCSG 12) is responsible for unit-level training, integrated training, and material readiness for the ships and aviation squadrons assigned to the group. When not deployed, the strike group is part of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, and its commander reports to Commander Task Force 80.[9] The commander of Task Force 80 is the director of Fleet Forces' Maritime Headquarters, and Carrier Strike Group Twelve is designated Task Group 80.5.[20]

When deployed overseas, the group comes under command of the numbered fleet (i.e., Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, or Seventh) in whose area it is operating, and will have a task force or task group designator, for example, Task Group 50.1 in the Fifth Fleet area.[21]

Group commanders since 2004 have included:

    • Rear Admiral James W. Stevenson, Jr.   (September 2004 – June 2005)[17][22]
    • Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spicer   (June 2005 – February 2007)[22][23]
    • Rear Admiral Daniel P. Holloway   (February 2007 – August 2008)[23][24]
    • Rear Admiral John N. Christenson   (August 2008 – November 2009)[24][25]
    • Rear Admiral David H. Buss   (November 2009 – September 2010)[25][26]
    • Rear Admiral Terry Kraft   (September 2009 – September 2011)[26]
    • Rear Admiral Walter E. Carter, Jr.   (September 2011 – April 2013)[26][27]
    • Rear Admiral Kevin J. Kovacich   (April 2013 – April 2014[26][27][28]
    • Rear Admiral Andrew L. Lewis   (July 2014 – Present)[28][3]

Operational history[edit]

On 3 September 2004, the group's flagship Enterprise entered the Newport News shipyard for an Extended Selected Restricted Availability overhaul.[29] On 13 October 2005, the Enterprise pulled away from Norfolk Naval Station's Pier 12 for sea trials.[30][31] Enterprise '​s post-overhaul sea trials ended on 15 October 2005.[31]

2006 deployment[edit]

Anatolian Sun 2006
Operation Medusa (26 September 2006)

On 2 May 2006, the strike group departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, for its 2006 deployment under the command of Rear Admiral Ray Spicer.[32] Carrier Strike Group Twelve conducted training with naval forces from Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, and Greece during its transit through the Mediterranean.[32] The guided-missile frigate Nichols (pictued) participated in Anatolian Sun, a Proliferation Security Initiative exercise, held between 24–26 May 2006 that was hosted for the first time by Turkey.[33]

Carrier Strike Group Twelve conducted two operational rotations with the U.S. Fifth Fleet during its 2006 deployment.[32] During the deployment, Carrier Air Wing One delivered 65,000 pounds (29,483.50 kilograms) of ordnance, including 137 precision weapons, to provide air support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Its aircraft completed more than 8,300 sorties, of which 2,186 were combat missions, while flying more than 22,500 hours and making 6,916-day and night arrested landings. Carrier Air Wing One provided the first combat air support to Operation Enduring Freedom from an aircraft carrier in more than three years.[32][34][35][36]

The first Fifth Fleet rotation began when the strike group entered the Persian Gulf on 6 June 2006.[32][37] During this initial rotation, Carrier Air Wing One flew 781 sorties in support of coalition ground forces in Afghanistan for a total of 3,832 flight hours. The air wing also flew an additional 237 sorties in support of ground forces in Iraq for a total of 455 flight hours.[32][34][38] Carrier Strike Group Twelve ended this first operational phase and departed the Persian Gulf on 6 July 2006.[34][38] The strike group subsequently conducted a two-month deployment with the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific which included training exercises with Carrier Strike Group Five.[32] This was the first time that an East Coast-based carrier air wing had operated in the western Pacific in 18 years, and the first time that the carrier Enterprise had operated in the Pacific since its transfer to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet on 1 October 1992.[35][39]

On 28 August 2006, the group rejoined the Fifth Fleet and began its second rotation in the Persian Gulf on 8 September 2006.[34][40] Beginning on 2 September 2006, the strike group provided combat air support (pictured) for two major ground operations, with coalition forces engaging Taliban insurgents in the Kandahar Province as part of Operation Medusa while Operation Mountain Fury targeted Taliban forces in the Paktika, Khost, Ghazni, Paktia, Logar provinces adjacent to the Pakistani border. All four strike fighter squadrons from Carrier Air Wing One flew more than 450 sorties and delivered over 100 precision weapons during this second rotation to the Persian Gulf which ended on 1 November 2006.[32][34][35] Carrier Strike Group Twelve returned to Norfolk on 18 November 2006.[32][34]

2006 deployment force composition[34][41][42]
CARSTRKGRU 12 Warships Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) squadrons embarked aboard flagship USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 (VMFA-251): F/A-18C(N) Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 (VAW-123): E-2C NP
USS McFaul (DDG-74) Strike Fighter Squadron 211 (VFA-211): F/A-18F Sea Control Squadron 32 (VS-32): S-3B
USS Nicholas (FFG-47) Strike Fighter Squadron 136 (VFA-136): F/A-18C Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 (HS-11): SH-60F/HH-60H
USS Alexandria (SSN-757) Strike Fighter Squadron 86 (VFA-86): F/A-18C(N) Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40), Det. 4: C-2A
USNS Supply (T-AOE-6) Electronic Attack Squadron 137 (VAQ-137): EA-6B ——
2006 deployment combat operations, 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 12 —— —— Split, Croatia 17–21 May 2006 [32][34][43][44]
2nd: various Carrier Strike Group 12 Theater Security: Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, and Greece Mediterranean Sea Souda Bay, Crete 23 May 2006 [32]
3rd: 24–26 May 2006 Nichols Anatolian Sun 06: France, Portugal, Turkey Mediterranean Sea Anatalya, Turkey 25 May 2006 [33][45][46]
5th: 6 Jun to 6 Jul 2006 Carrier Strike Group 12 Operation Enduring Freedom: ISAF[Note 2] Persian Gulf —— —— [32][34][37][38]
5th: 16 July 2006 Carrier Strike Group 12 Carrier Strike Group 5 Philippine Sea Pusan, Korea 18 Jul 2006 [32]
6th: —— Carrier Strike Group 12 —— —— Hong Kong 27–30 Sep 2006 [32][34]
7th: —— Carrier Strike Group 12 —— —— Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1 Aug 2006 [32][47]
8th: —— Carrier Strike Group 12 —— —— Singapore 3–6 Aug 2006 [34][48]
9th: 3–21 Sep 2006 Carrier Strike Group 12 Inspired Union 06: Pakistan Navy Northern Arabian Sea Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 15–19 Aug 2006 [32][34][34][49]
10th: 2 Sep to 1 Nov 2006 Carrier Strike Group 12 Operation Enduring Freedom: ISAF[Note 3] Persian Gulf Jebel Ali, U.A.E 18–23 Oct 2006 [32][34][35][40][50]

2007 deployment[edit]

On 7 July 2007, Carrier Strike Group Twelve departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, for its 2007 deployment under the command of Rear Admiral Daniel P. Holloway.[51][52] Carrier Strike Group Twelve entered the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility on 16 July 2007. Seven days later, on 23 July 2007, two French Rafale M jet fighters landed on board the Enterprise and were subsequently launched, a first for an American aircraft carrier.[52] The group then paid a scheduled port visit to Cannes, France.

Dai Hong Dan (30 October 2007)
Ching Fong Hwa (5 November 2007)
S-3B Viking from VS-32 (17 August 2007)

Carrier Strike Group Twelve entered the U.S. Fifth Fleet area on 1 August 2007 and began combat air operations in the Persian Gulf on 12 August 2007.[52][53][54] During its 2007 deployment to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing One flew more than 7,500 missions, which included 1,676 combat missions, and made more than 6,500 arrested landings for a total of 20,300 hours. Aircraft dropped 73 air-to-ground weapons and fired 4,149 rounds of 20-mm ammunition in support of ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.[52][55] Strike group units also protected the Iraqi oil terminals at Al Başrah and Khor Al Amaya.[56]

On 25 September 2007, the Tanzanian-flagged passenger ferry Spice Islander I was off the coast of Somalia when she experienced engine problems due to contaminated fuel. After the alarm had been raised via Kenya, the destroyer Stout, operating with Combined Task Force 150, was dispatched to her aid.[57] The Spice Islander had been on a voyage from Oman to Tanzania, and it was not carrying any passengers. The destroyer James E. Williams also responded. Stout provided the ship with 7,800 US gallons (30,000 l; 6,500 imp gal) of fuel and supplied the ten-man crew with food and water. After her engines were restarted, she resumed her voyage to Tanzania.[58]

On the morning of 30 October 2007, Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters, based in Bahrain, received a call from the International Maritime Bureau, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, providing the status of the North Korean cargo vessel Dai Hong Dan (pictured), which had been taken over the previous day by Somali pirates. The ship was approximately 60 nautical miles (110 km) northeast of Mogadishu, Somalia. At that time, the guided-missile destroyer James E. Williams was about 50 nautical miles (93 km) from the vessel and sent a helicopter to investigate the situation. The James E. Williams arrived in the vicinity of the Korean ship midday local time and contacted the pirates via bridge-to-bridge radio, ordering them to give up their weapons. At that point, the Korean crew had confronted the Somali pirates, regained control of the ship, and began communicating with the James E. Williams, requesting medical assistance. The crew said the pirates had been in control of the bridge, but the crew had retained control of the steering and engineering spaces. The James E. Williams crew provided care and assistance for approximately 12 hours to crew members and Somali pirates aboard Dai Hong Dan. Six pirates were captured, and one was killed. The pirates remained aboard Dai Hong Dan.[59][60]

On 5 November 2007, the destroyers James E. Williams and Arleigh Burke provided aid to the crew of the M/V Ching Fong Hwa 168 (pictured), a Taiwanese-flagged fishing trawler that had been seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia in May. After the Somali pirates returned to shore, the destroyer escorted the Taiwanese ship out of Somali waters and provided needed supplies and medical assistance.[61][62][63] Finally, the guided-missile destroyer Forrest Sherman executed a circumnavigation of the African continent while performing theater security operations with local military forces as the flagship of Task Group 60.5, the U.S. Navy's Southeast Africa task force.[64][65] Forrest Sherman was also the first American warship to land a helicopter operated by the Ukrainian Navy.[66]

Carrier Strike Group Twelve transited the Suez Canal on 1 December 2007, and the group returned to Norfolk on 13 December 2007.[52][55]

For this deployment, Enterprise received the Battle "E" award, the Battenberg Cup, and the Admiral Flatley Memorial Award for the year 2007.[67] Also during this deployment, the strike group was the second U.S. Navy carrier strike group to deploy with the new ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) targeting system for its F/A-18 strike fighters. This new system allowed its pilots to use their weapon systems at higher altitude with greater accuracy and safety.[68] Finally, the 2007 deployment marked the final cruise for squadron VS-32 and its S-3 Viking aircraft (pictured). During this deployment, VS-32 aircraft flew 960 sorties, which totaled more than 2,200 flight hours, and included more than 950 carrier landings. Squadron VS-32 operated at sea for 180 days with only 13 days spent in port.[52][69]

2007 deployment force composition[51][51][70][71]
CARSTRKGRU 12 Warships Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) squadrons embarked aboard flagship USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
USS Gettysburg (CG-64) Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 (VMFA-251): 10 F/A-18C(N) Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 (VAW-123): 4 E-2C NP
USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) Strike Fighter Squadron 211 (VFA-211): 14 F/A-18F Sea Control Squadron 32 (VS-32): S-3B
USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) Strike Fighter Squadron 136 (VFA-136): 12 F/A-18C Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 (HS-11): 7 SH-60F/HH-60H
USS Stout (DDG-55) Strike Fighter Squadron 86 (VFA-86): 13 F/A-18C(N) Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40), Det. 4: 2 C-2A
USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) Electronic Attack Squadron 137 (VAQ-137): 4 EA-6B ——
USS Philadelphia (SSN-690) —— ——
USNS Supply (T-AOE-6) —— ——
2007–2008 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 12 —— —— Cannes, France 24–27 Jul 2007 [52]
2nd: —— Forrest Sherman, Arleigh Burke —— —— Souda Bay, Crete 26 Jul 2007 [62][65]
3rd: August 2007 Forrest Sherman Reliant Mermaid 2007: Israeli Navy, Turkish Navy Mediterranean Sea Sevastopol, Ukraine 8 Aug 2007 [65][66][72]
4th: —— Forrest Sherman —— —— Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 5 Sep 2007 [65]
5th: —— Forrest Sherman —— —— Moroni, Comoros 12 Sep 2007 [65]
6th: —— Forrest Sherman —— —— Maputo, Mazambique 17 Sep 2007 [65]
7th: —— Forrest Sherman —— —— Durban, South Africa 16 Sep 2007 [65]
8th: —— Forrest Sherman —— —— Cape Town, South Africa 5 Oct 2007 [65]
9th: —— Forrest Sherman —— —— Pointe Noire, Republic of the Congo 26 Oct 2007 [65]
10th: 10–13 Nov 2007 Carrier Strike Group 12 Anti-submarine warfare: USS Miami (SSN-755) North Arabian Sea Jebel Ali, UAE 21 Oct 2007 [52][73]
11th: —— Enterprise —— —— Naval Station Mayport 16 Dec 2007 [52]

2008–2010 operations[edit]

BALTOPS 2008 (11 June 2008)

On 11 April 2008, the Enterprise began a two-year, US$661.7 million Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) overhaul at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard in Virginia.[52][74]

While his flagship was going into refit, Rear Admiral Daniel P. Holloway was given the task of supervising Exercise BALTOPS 2008, that took place from 8 to 18 June 2008 (pictured).[75] BALTOPS began in 1971 as a NATO freedom of navigation exercise directed against the Soviet Union in the Baltic, and it is now a Partnership for Peace interoperability exercise involving former Warsaw Pact adversaries, including Russia. Holloway used the guided-missile cruiser Gettysburg as his temporary flagship which was joined by two other U.S. naval vessels, the guided-missile destroyer Cole from Destroyer Squadron 22 and the fleet oiler Patuxent from the Military Sealift Command, to form Task Group 369.4.[75][76][77] Gettysburg returned to Naval Station Mayport, Florida, on 14 July 2008.[76]

Enterprise returned to Naval Station Norfolk on 19 April 2010 after completing its post-overhaul sea trials, signalling the start of the pre-deployment training cycle for Carrier Strike Group Twelve.[78]

2011 deployment[edit]

On 13 January 2011, Carrier Strike Group Twelve departed its homebase of Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, under the command of Rear Admiral Terry B. Kraft.[79][80][81] The strike group entered the U.S. Sixth Fleet's area of responsibility on 20 January 2011 and following its transit of the Suez Canal on 15 February 2011, joined the U.S. Fifth Fleet.[81][82]

MV Guanabara (6 March 2011)
M/V Falcon Trader II (24 March 2011)
Enterprise (left) and George H.W. Bush at the Strait of Bab el Mandeb (21 June 2011)

During the 2011 deployment, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing One flew 7764 sorties, with more than 7120 combat sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.[79] Units of Carrier Strike Group Twelve also disrupted nine piracy attacks, resulting in the capture of 75 suspected pirates and the detention of an additional 18 suspected pirates.[79][83] Also during this deployment, the guided-missile destroyer Barry was detached from Carrier Strike Group Twelve in order to participate in Operation Odyssey Dawn.[84][85] During that operation, on 19 March 2011, Barry was credited for launching the 2000th Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile.[86]

In February 2011, the Enterprise, the Leyte Gulf, Sterrett. and the Buckley, as well as the guided-missile destroyer Sterett, responded to the seizure of the American yacht Quest by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman.[79][87] During this event four pirates were killed, and 15 were taken into custody. Enterprise is the first U.S. aircraft carrier to directly support an counter-piracy incident.[79] Enterprise and Leyte Gulf also supported the recapture of the 37,000-dwt. Liberian-flagged bulk carrier M/V Arrilah-1 from Somali pirates by United Arab Emirates special operation forces on 2 April 2011.[79][88]

On 6 March 2011, while operating with Combined Task Force 151, the destroyer Buckley responded to a distress call from the Bahamian-flagged, Japanese-operated oil tanker MV Guanabara which had reported on the previous day of being under attack from Somali pirates while operating 328 nautical miles (607 km; 377 mi) southeast of Duqm, Oman. Joining Buckley was the Turkish frigate Giresun from NATO's Operation Ocean Shield. After determining that the Guanabara '​s crew was safely in the ship's citadel, Bulkeley '​s boarding team, supported overhead by its embarked SH-60 helicopter, secured the Bahamian-flagged vessel and detained four suspected pirates (pictured).[79][89][90] Three of the pirates were subsequently indicted in Japan, and the fourth was turned over to juvenile authorities, as it was determined that he was a minor.[91]

On 24 March 2011, units from Carrier Strike Group Twelve disrupted a pirate attack on the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel M/V Falcon Trader II. While operating in the Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, at 10:00 A.M. local time, the carrier Enterprise and cruiser Leyte Gulf responded to a distress call from the Falcon Trader II reporting that suspected pirates in a small skiff were attempting to board the ship. A follow-up message reported that the pirates had boarded the Falcon Trader II, but confirmed that her crew was safely in the ship's citadel. A SH-60F helicopter from squadron HS-11 embarked on the Enterprise and a SH-60B helicopter from squadron HSL-48 on board the Leyte Gulf were dispatched to investigate the situation. Once on the scene, the HS-11 helicopter fired warning shots at the suspected pirates in the skiff, prompting them to flee the scene. The helicopter pursued the skiff which was observed trying to rendezvous with a suspected pirate mother ship. The helicopter came under small arms fire, but the flight crew were not harmed while the helicopter maintained surveillance of the situation. On 25 March 2011, after determining there were no pirates aboard, the Leyte Gulf sent a boarding party to the Falcon Trader II to free its crew (pictured).[81][92][93]

On 16 May 2011, the Bulkeley responded to a mayday call from the Panamanian-flagged, German-owned, 306,500-dwt very large crude carrier Artemis Glory. Bulkeley dispatched a SH-60B helicopter to the last reported position of the ship. Observing that a skiff carrying four men was firing upon the Artemis Glory, the HSL-48 helicopter opened fire, killing four suspected pirates. Without any Navy or Artemis Glory casualties, the ship was able to continue to its next port-of-call.[94]

On 21 June 2011, the Navy's oldest aircraft carrier – Enterprise – passed the Navy's newest carrier, the George H.W. Bush, in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait (pictured) as Carrier Strike Group Two relieved Carrier Strike Group Twelve as the Fifth Fleet's in-theater carrier strike group.[95] Carrier Strike Group Twelve transited the Suez Canal on 24 June 2011 and the Strait of Gibraltar on 3 July 2011.[79] On 15 July 2011, the group returned to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, completing its 2011 deployment.[79][83]

2011 deployment force composition[80][96][97]
Group Warships Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) squadrons embarked aboard flagship USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 (VMFA-251): 12 F/A-18C(N) Electronic Attack Squadron 137 (VAQ-137): 4 EA-6B
USS Mason (DDG-87) Strike Fighter Squadron 211 (VFA-211): 11 F/A-18F Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 (VAW-123): 4 E-2C NP
USS Bulkeley (DDG-84) Strike Fighter Squadron 136 (VFA-136): 12 F/A-18C Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 (HS-11): 7 SH-60F/HH-60H
USS Barry (DDG-52) Strike Fighter Squadron 11 (VFA-11): 13 F/A-18C(N) Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40), Det. 3: 2 C-2A
USNS Arctic (T-AOE-8) —— ——
2011 deployment exercises and port visits
Number Regional Exercises/Operations Port Visits Notes
Duration U.S. Force Bilateral/Multilateral Partner(s) Operating Area Location Dates
1st: —— Carrier Strike Group 12 —— —— Lisbon, Portugal 26–29 Jan 2011 [79][81][92][98][99]
2nd: —— Barry —— —— Valletta, Malta 29 Jan to 1 Feb 2011 [84]
3rd: —— Mason —— —— Palma de Mallorca, Spain 30 Jan to 1 Feb 2011 [100]
4th: —— Enterprise, Leyte Gulf —— —— Marmaris, Turkey 7–11 Feb 2011 [79][81][92]
5th: —— Barry —— —— Djibouti 10 Feb 2011 [84]
6th: —— Mason —— —— Haifa, Israel 15 Mar 2011 [100]
7th: —— Barry —— —— Augusta Bay, Italy 31 Mar 2011 [84]
8th: 19 Mar to 9 Apr 2011 Enterprise, Leyte Gulf Operation Enduring Freedom: ISAF [Note 4] North Arabian Sea Manama, Bahrain 12–16 Apr 2011 [79][81][92][101]
9th: —— Barry —— —— Rhodes, Greece 5–11 May 2011 [84][102]
10th: 17–28 Apr 2011 Enterprise Operation New Dawn: Multi-National Force – Iraq Persian Gulf Jebel Ali, UAE 9 May 2011 [79][81]
11th: —— Barry —— —— Gaeta, Italy 12–17 Jun 2011 [84][103]
12th: —— Bulkeley —— —— Raphael, France 22–24 Jun 2011 [90]
13th: —— Enterprise —— —— Souda Bay, Greece 25 Jun 2011 [32]
14th: —— Bulkeley —— —— Menorca, Spain 25–27 Jun 2011 [90]
16th: —— Barry —— —— Rota, Spain 26 Jun 2011 [84][104]
17th: 2 May to 2 Jun 2011 Enterprise Operation Enduring Freedom: ISAF[Note 5] North Arabian Sea Palma de Mallorca, Spain 28 Jun to 2 Jul 2011 [32][79][105]
19th: 1 Jul 2011 Bulkeley Disaster training exercise: Portuguese Navy In-port Lisbon, Portugal 1–4 Jul 2011 [90][106][107]
20th: —— Mason —— —— Bodrum, Turkey 9 Jul 2011 [100]
21st: —— Enterprise —— —— Naval Station Mayport 13 Jul 2011 [32][79]

Bold Alligator 2012[edit]

Bold Alligator 2013 (4 February 2012)

On 11 January 2012, the strike group proceeded to sea for pre-deployment training and its Composite Training Unit Exercise.[108] From 30 January to 12 February 2012, the group took part in Bold Alligator 2012, the largest amphibious assault exercise held on the east coast of the United States since 2002. Bold Alligator 2012 also served as the group Joint Task Force Exercise, the final pre-deployment training exercise needed to receive its combat-readiness certification.[109][110] During the exercise, the air wing completed 3,830 flight hours, made 2,052 arrested landings, and received a 96 percent sortie completion rate.[111] This included a single-day total of 107 sorties flown on 6 February 2012 during the exercise amphibious assault phase.[110][112] U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Enterprise on 21 January 2012, observing flight operations and meeting members of the crew.[113] The strike group completed its pre-deployment training and returned to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, on 10 February 2012.[110]

2012 deployment[edit]

PASSEX with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (24 March 2012)
Dhow afire in Gulf of Oman (8 August 2012)

On 11 March 2012, Carrier Strike Group Twelve departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, for its 2012 deployment under the command of Rear Admiral Walter E. Carter, Jr.[114] The strike group transited the Strait of Gibraltar on 23 March 2012, and it subsequently conducted a passing exercise with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 between 24–25 March 2012 (pictured).[115][116]

The strike group transited the Suez Canal to join the U.S. Fifth Fleet on 3 April.[114][117] On 8 April 2012, the guided-missile destroyer Porter was detached in order to join Combined Task Force 151 for counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.[118]

On 1 May 2012, Carrier Strike Group Twelve began combat air support to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, with Carrier Air Wing One flying 29 sorties that first day.[114][119] The strike group operated with Carrier Strike Group Nine until CSG-9 was relieved by Carrier Strike Group Eight on 16–17 July 2012.[120] In total, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing One flew 9,875 sorties, of which 2,241 were combat missions, while the Enterprise made ten transits through the Strait of Hormuz. The average flight time per sortie was almost six hours per flight. During this deployment, the strike group's longest at-sea period was 52 days.[121]

On the evening of 8 August 2013, the guided-missile destroyer James E. Williams rescued ten mariners from a burning Iranian-flagged dhow (pictured) while operating in the Gulf of Oman. Of the ten mariners, eight were identified as Iranians and two were Pakistanis. The rescued mariners received medical treatment and transport to the carrier Enterprise before being repatriated back to Iran on 10 August.[122] James E. Williams reentered the Mediterranean Sea on 25 August.[123]

On 12 August 2012, at 1:00 a.m. local time, the guided-missile destroyer Porter collided with the Panamanian-flagged, Japanese-owned oil tanker M/V Otowasan near the Strait of Hormuz.[118][124][125] The collision ripped a large hole in Porter's starboard side above the waterline, forcing her to put into Jebel Ali, Dubai, for inspection and repairs. No one on either ship was injured from the collision. The Otowasan had been en route from Fujairah, UAE, to Mesaieed, Qatar, at the time of the collision.[124]

On 12 October 2012, the strike group transited the Suez Canal, with Porter rejoining following extensive repairs. From 24–26 October, Enterprise offloaded munitions to USNS Sacagawea and USNS Matthew Perry, at sea in the Atlantic.[126] On 4 November, Enterprise returned to Naval Base Norfolk, Virginia, after steaming 80,968 nautical miles (149,953 km; 93,176 mi) during its seven-and-a-half-month deployment.[114][127]

2012 deployment force composition[128][129][130]
CARSTRKGRU 12 Warships Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) squadrons embarked aboard flagship USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
USS Vicksburg (CG-69) Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 (VMFA-251): 9 F/A-18C(N) Electronic Attack Squadron 137 (VAQ-137): 4 EA-6B
USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) Strike Fighter Squadron 211 (VFA-211): 11 F/A-18F Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 (VAW-123): 4 E-2C NP
USS Nitze (DDG-94) Strike Fighter Squadron 136 (VFA-136): 12 F/A-18C Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 (HS-11): 7 SH-60F/HH-60H
USS Porter (DDG-78) Strike Fighter Squadron 11 (VFA-11): 11 F/A-18F Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40), Det. 3: 2 C-2A
2012 deployment combat operations, exercises, and port visits
Number Regional Exercises Port Visits Notes
Duration U.S. Force Bilateral/Multilateral Partner(s) Operating Area Location Dates
1st: 24–25 March 2012 Carrier Strike Group 12 PASSEX: Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 Mediterranean Sea —— —— [116]
2nd: —— Nitze —— —— Villefranche, France 26–29 Mar 2012 [131][132]
3rd: —— Porter —— —— Palma de Mallorca, Spain 26–30 Mar 2012 [118][133]
4th: —— James E. Williams —— —— Civitavecchia, Italy 26–29 Mar 2012 [123]
5th: —— Enterprise, Vicksburg —— —— Piraeus, Greece 28–31 Mar 2012 [114][134][135]
6th: 6 Apr 2012 Nitze PASSEX: Egyptian corvette El Suez (F941) Red Sea Manama, Bahrain 17 May 2012 [131]
7th: —— James E. Williams —— —— Manama, Bahrain 18 Apr 2012 [123]
8th: 16–21 Apr 2012 Carrier Strike Group 12 FS Cassard (D 614), HMS Daring (D32) Arabian Sea Jebel Ali, UAE 24–28 Apr 2012 [114][134][136]
9th: 1 May to 16 Jul 2012 Enterprise, Vicksburg Operation Enduring Freedom: ISAF [Note 6] North Arabian Sea Manama, Bahrain 20–28 May 2012 [114][134][121][137][138]
10th: —— Porter —— —— Hidd, Bahrain 22–25 Jun 2012 [118]
11th: 27 Jul 2012 Nitze PASSEX: HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339) Arabian Sea Victoria, Seychelles 24 Jun 2012 [131][139]
12th: —— Enterprise, Vicksburg —— —— Jebel Ali, UAE 1–6 Jul 2012 [114][134]
13th: 8 Aug 2012 Carrier Strike Group 12 PASSEX: HMS Diamond (D34) Arabian Sea Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Bahrain 11–12 Aug 2012 [114][134][140]
14th: —— Vicksburg —— —— Manama, Bahrain 10–24 Aug 2012 [134][141]
15th: —— Enterprise —— —— Jebel Ali, UAE 25 Aug 2012 [114]
15th: —— Enterprise, Vicksburg —— —— Jebel Ali, UAE 28 Sep 2012 [114][134]
16th: —— Enterprise, Nitze —— —— Naples, Italy 16–21 Oct 2012 [114][131]
17th: —— Vicksburg, Porter —— —— Lisbon, Portugal 17 Oct 2012 [118][134]
18th: —— Enterprise —— —— Naval Station Mayport, Florida 31 Oct to 2 Nov 2012 [114]

Unit changes[edit]

USS Enterprise deactivation (1 December 2012)

Enterprise (pictured) was inactivated on 1 December 2012 at Norfolk Naval Station, Virginia, with its actual decommissioning scheduled to begin no later than 15 March 2013.[142] The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) was reassigned to be the group's new flagship.[9] Finally, Carrier Air Wing One was reassigned to Theodore Roosevelt.[143]

Initially, the U.S. Navy had planned to retire Vicksburg along with three other Ticonderoga-class cruisers in fiscal year 2013.[144] However, after much discussion, Vicksburg and two other Ticonderoga-class cruisers were retained under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, with Vicksburg joining the USS Normandy (CG-60) as units of Carrier Strike Group Twelve.[9][145]

On 14 January 2014, the U.S. Navy announced that the Theodore Roosevelt will shift its home-port to Naval Base San Diego, California, becoming part of the U.S. Third Fleet. Upon completion of this home-port shift, the Theodore Roosevelt and its as-yet assigned carrier strike group will also deploy to the U.S. Seventh Fleet's operating area in the western Pacific.[10]

2013–2014 operations[edit]

Atlantic Ocean (18 September 2014)

On 22 October 2012, the Department of Defense announced that Rear Admiral Kevin Kovacich was selected to take command of Carrier Strike Group Twelve.[146] A naval aviator, Admiral Kovacich took command of the strike group on 15 April 2013.[27]

The Theodore Roosevelt returned to Norfolk Naval Station, Virginia, on 29 August 2013, completing its post-overhaul sea trials that concluded its four-year mid-life Refueling and Complex Overhaul.[147] On 14 September 2013, Theodore Roosevelt successfully completed flight deck certification which entailed completing a total of 160 carrier landings during daytime and night-time operations. Other certification drills included rigging the emergency barricade, flight deck firefighting evolutions, and crash and salvage operations.[148] On 17 September 2013, Theodore Roosevelt completed its first underway replenishment in over four years.[149]

At the start of 2014, Theodore Roosevelt and the rest of Carrier Strike Group Twelve were in port and not underway.[150] On 15 January 2014, USS Theodore Roosevelt departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, for carrier qualifications prior to undertaking pre-deployment exercises for Carrier Strike Group Twelve.[151] On 20 March 2014, the U.S. Defense Department announced Admiral Kovacich's next assignment was as the director for plans and programs of the U.S. African Command, and his relief was Rear Admiral Andrew L. Lewis, a naval aviator.[28][3]

On 17 July 2014, Carrier Strike Group 12 carried out at-sea maneuvers, and the carrier Harry S. Truman off-loaded its munitions to the Theodore Roosevelt on 17 July 2014 in preparation for future deployments by Carrier Strike Group 12.[152] Between 4–8 August 2014, Theodore Roosevelt completed the in-port phase of its Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) exercises.[153] On 16 September 2014, Carrier Strike Group began the at-sea phase of its TSTA exercises, as well as its Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) exercises, completing these exercises on 8 October 2014.[154]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ As of 2014, Destroyer Squadron 2 consists of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98), USS James E. Williams (DDG-95), USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81), USS Porter (DDG-78), USS Mahan (DDG-72), and USS Laboon (DDG-58).
  2. ^ Over 1011 combat sorties were flown by Carrier Air Wing One from 19 March to 9 April 2011.
  3. ^ Includes Operation Medusa and Operation Mountain Fury.
  4. ^ Over 1450 combat sorties were flown by Carrier Air Wing One from 19 March to 9 April 2011.
  5. ^ 2970 combat sorties were flown by Carrier Air Wing One from 2 May to 2 June 2011.
  6. ^ Over 2241 combat sorties were flown by Carrier Air Wing One from 1 May to 16 July 2012.
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References[edit]

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

External links[edit]