USS NIMITZ, At Sea -Sailors of the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) will complete a nine-month deployment, returning to their homeport of Everett, Wash., Dec. 16.
Nimitz, which departed Everett, Wash. March 30, 2013, will conclude an extended deployment to the Western Pacific, U.S. Central Command and U.S. European Command areas of responsibility supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, maritime security operations and theater security operations in the U.S. Navy’s 5th, 6th and 7th Fleets.
“When we departed Everett earlier this year, we left our families and our friends to do our nation’s business. After six months of consistently excellent work, the nation called upon us to remain in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility to allow our leaders options in response to a tense international situation. Every Sailor can return home with pride in their personal accomplishments, endurance and in the tasks we completed as a team,” said Capt. Jeff Ruth, Nimitz’s commanding officer.
USS Nimitz serves as the flagship for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, led by Rear Adm. Michael S. White. The Nimitz Strike Group consisted of USS Nimitz, USS Princeton (CG 59), Destroyer Squadron 23 guided-missile destroyers USS Shoup (DDG 76), USS Higgins (DDG 86), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.
“Nimitz Strike Group successfully completed almost three months of Operation Enduring Freedom close-air support to coalition ground troops, and provided a flexible and capable response option to deter Syria. I am so proud of our Sailors and Marines, who showed remarkable resiliency through several extensions with limited time in port and met all tasking,” said White.
The deployment extension enabled the Nimitz Strike Group to transit the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea, where the strike group conducted operations with our NATO Allies.
The squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 11 include the “Blue Diamonds” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146, the “Argonauts” of VFA-147, and the “Black Knights” of VFA-154, the “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the “Wallbangers” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, the “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, and the “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, and the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30, Detachment 3. The squadrons’ aircraft and flight crews disembarked prior to a brief stop in San Diego to off-load the air wing’s support crew and equipment.
Throughout the deployment, the Nimitz Strike Group completed the following:
- From June – August, CVW-11 spent 63 days in direct support of coalition forces for Operation Enduring Freedom, during which time it executed 1,374 sorties in support of combat operations.
- Nimitz sailed more than 80,000 nautical miles.
- Conducted exercises with coalition countries and other nations, including Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.
- Conducted port visits in the Republic of Korea, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Italy.