USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet's area of responsibility (AOR) Jan. 31, as part of a deployment to promote peace, regional cooperation and stability.
While Stennis and the rest of the strike group, led by Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, is scheduled to transit from 7th Fleet to U.S. Central Command to provide support for coalition forces operating there, JCSSG remains ready to respond to any mission in any theatre of operation.
"Our strike group provides an agile, flexible, responsive and robust set of capabilities ranging from humanitarian assistance all the way up through major combat operations," said Quinn, commander, Carrier Strike Group Three (CCSG 3). "We have spent a year preparing for this deployment and we are ready for whatever tasking comes our way."
Since the beginning of 2006, JCSSG has completed multiple training events, qualifications and inspections, leading up to certification as a combat-ready strike group.
"Though we are planning to simply transit through the Pacific en route the Persian Gulf, we are prepared to respond to any emergent tasking in the Pacific Command area of operations," said Quinn.
The ship will remain postured to render aid in the region if needed, in support of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet's goal of delivering responsive, short-term readiness.
JCSSG is comprised of Commander, CSG 3, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Stennis, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), the guided-missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS O'Kane (DDG 77), the fast combat-support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 11. In all, more than 6,000 Sailors are currently assigned to JCSSG.
Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet is permanently embarked aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), which is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. The 7th Fleet AOR includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian oceans -- stretching from the international date line to the east coast of Africa, and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south.
More than half of the world's population lives within the 7th Fleet AOR. In addition, more than 80 percent of that population lives within 500 miles of the oceans, which means this is an inherently maritime region.
"We are ready; we are sustainable; we are flexible; and we provide awesome combat capability," said Quinn.
JCSSG is headed west to provide support for U.S. and coalition forces operating in the 5th Fleet and will support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, be prepared to take part in Horn of Africa operations, and conduct maritime security operations (MSO).
Coalition forces conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping can operate freely while transiting the region.
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