USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations May 8. The Nimitz CSG joins the John C. Stennis CSG, which is already operating in the theater, and relieves the Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG.
Their arrival continues the current two-carrier presence in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, demonstrating the United States' resolve to build regional security and bring long-term stability to the region.
Nimitz CSG 11, commanded by Rear Adm. John Terence Blake, includes the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11; Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23; the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59); and the guided-missile destroyers USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Chafee (DDG 90), and USS Pinckney (DDG 91); Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 "Scorpions," HSL-37 "Easy Riders," and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 15.
"I'm extremely proud of the Sailors and Marines of the Nimitz Strike Group," said Blake. "They have worked hard to ensure we arrive in theater ready to support ongoing coalition operations. We are looking forward to working closely with our regional partners to demonstrate our commitment to enhanced security operations in this diverse theater."
While in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, the ships of the Nimitz CSG will conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO). 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. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other materials.
While operating in the Persian Gulf, Nimitz and CVW-11 will also conduct missions in direct support of troops participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.
The squadrons of CVW-11 include the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14 "Tophatters," the VFA-41 "Black Aces," the VFA-81 "Sunliners," the Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117 "Wallbangers," the Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 135 "Black Ravens," the Carrier Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 "Providers," and the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 6 "Indians."
U.S. 5th Fleet, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, is responsible for an area encompassing approximately 2.5 million square miles of water including the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
For more news from USS Nimitz, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn68/.