The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) conducts operations in the Arabian Sea. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is on regularly scheduled deployments in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO). MSO help set the conditions for security and stability, as well as aid counter-terrorism and security efforts to regional nations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ronald Reeves
From USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs
USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) entered the Persian Gulf on March 27, escorted by the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54).
While in the Gulf, the flagship of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) and its air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, will conduct a dual-carrier exercise with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG). This marks the first time the Stennis and Eisenhower strike groups have operated together in a joint exercise while deployed to the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of responsibility.
This exercise demonstrates the importance of both strike groups’ ability to plan and conduct dual task force operations as part of the U. S. long-standing commitment to maintaining maritime security and stability in this region.
Two air wings from the aircraft carriers will conduct air warfare exercises while the surface components will conduct exercises in three general disciplines: anti-submarine, anti-surface and mine warfare.
John C. Stennis left its homeport of Bremerton, Wash., Jan. 16 for deployment and began operating alongside coalition maritime forces in the region Feb. 19. After arriving, JCSSG began conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and providing direct support to coalition ground forces participating in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. During the 33 days of operations over Afghanistan, CVW 9 provided close-air support and reconnaissance to International Security Assistance Force troops on the ground.
MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
The CVW 9 squadrons include the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, “Blue Diamonds” of VFA 146, “Argonauts” of VFA 147, “Death Rattlers” of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron 323, “Yellowjackets” of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 138, “Golden Hawks” of Carrier Early Warning Squadron 112, “Topcats” of Sea Control Squadron 31, “Eightballers” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 8 and “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30.
JCSSG includes John C. Stennis, CVW 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, USS Antietam (CG 54), the guided-missile destroyers USS O’Kane (DDG-77) and USS Preble (DDG 88) and the fast combat-support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10). More than 6,500 Sailors and Marines are assigned to JCSSG.