Nimitz Gets Underway for Western Pacific Deployment

Friday, January 25, 2008
From USS Nimitz Public Affairs USS Nimitz (CVN 68) departed San Diego Jan. 24 with commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment. Nimitz is deploying under the Navy's Fleet Response Plan (FRP) and will operate in the Western Pacific Ocean in support of U.S. commitments in the region while the forward-deployed USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) undergoes scheduled maintenance in Yokosuka, Japan.

FRP was designed to allow the United States the ability to rapidly respond with flexible and sustainable forces to any global commitment on short notice. "Our mission will be to ensure security and stability in the region," said Capt. Michael Manazir, Nimitz' commanding officer. "While operating in the Western Pacific, we will also participate in exercises and coordinate with our partner nations in the region." The Nimitz CSG, commanded by Rear Adm. Terry Blake, is comprised of CSG 11, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz; its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 11; embarked Destroyer Squadron 23; the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59); the guided-missile destroyers USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), USS Higgins (DDG 76), and USS Chafee (DDG 90); Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 "Scorpions," (HSL) 37 "Easy Riders"; and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11.

CVW-11's squadrons include the "Tophatters" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, the "Black Aces" of VFA-41, the "Sunliners" of VFA-81, the "Wallbangers" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117, the "Red Devils" of Marine Corps Strike Fighter Squadron 232, the "Black Ravens" of Electronic Warfare Squadron 135, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support Squadron 30 and the "Indians" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6. During the past few months, Nimitz conducted several training exercises off the coast of California and is fully prepared to deploy in support of FRP. Nimitz returned from a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and the Western Pacific Ocean in Sept. 2007. During the 2007 deployment, Nimitz supported Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, conducted Maritime Security Operations and participated in joint and coalition exercises and operations with many countries and U.S. military services. "The quick turnaround between deployments has made the preparation for this deployment much easier," said Manazir. "The entire ship has what I call 'muscle memory' and we can lean on our experience from the last deployment. The crew is absolutely prepared and I couldn't be more proud of all their hard work." Nimitz was commissioned in 1975, making it the first Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named for World War II Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz.

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