Nimitz Concludes Valiant Shield 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007
An HH-60H Seahawk helicopter flies past the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a joint photo exercise (PHOTOEX) concluding Valiant Shield 2007. The PHOTOEX featured 15 ships and 17 aircraft from Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps including a B-52 bomber. The John C. Stennis, Kitty Hawk and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups were participating in Valiant Shield 2007, the largest joint exercise in recent history. Held in the Guam operating area, the exercise includes 30 ships, more than 280 aircraft and more than 20,000 service members from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Denny Cantrell

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew J. Lanese, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) with John C. Stennis and Kitty Hawk CSGs, wrapped up joint-service Exercise Valiant Shield 2007, along with units from the Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aug. 14. The multi-branch evolution focused on integrating U.S. military forces to proficiently track, locate and engage units at sea, on land, in the air and in cyberspace in response to assigned missions. More than 22,000 service members participated in the eight-day training exercise. Nimitz and squadrons from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 performed 677 sorties and 1,450 flight hours for the exercise. These missions included maritime interdiction, defensive counter-air and tanking missions.

More than 25 ships participated in the exercise, tracking and destroying enemy submarines in simulated scenarios. In addition, the guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) participated in a search and rescue exercise, simulating the rescue of an Air Force survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist under hostile conditions. A unique aspect of the exercise was having three carrier strike groups operating together. “This exercise is the latest example of how well we can work as a cohesive and seamless unit,” said Commander, CSG-11/Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, Rear Adm. John Terence Blake. “We remained flexible, managed air space and trained well together. Valiant Shield showed our commitment to peace and stability in the region. We met all challenges and will be able to successfully respond to any future contingencies in the Pacific."

Nimitz left its homeport of San Diego, April 2 for a regularly-scheduled deployment and arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet (C5F) area of operations in May. While operating in C5F, CVW-11 flew more than 2,600 sorties and 7,332 hours in support of ground forces participating in Operations Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom in Iraq before leaving the Persian Gulf in late July. CVW-11 squadrons include “Tophatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, “Black Aces” of VFA-41, “Sunliners” of VFA-81, “Wallbangers” of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, “Red Devils” of Marine Corps Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 232, “Black Ravens” of Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 135, “Providers” of Carrier Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and the “Indians” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 6.

Nimitz CSG also includes embarked Destroyer Squadron 23 with guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), guided-missile destroyers USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Chafee (DDG 90) and Pinckney as well as the “Scorpions” of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49, “Easy Riders” of HSL-37 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11, Det. 15.

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