USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) departed its homeport of Norfolk Jan. 13 to embark upon its first deployment since 2007.
Slated to deploy for operations in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleets, this deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe.
Working with allied and partner maritime forces, the Enterprise CSG units will focus heavily on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts, which help establish conditions for regional stability.
The Enterprise CSG consists of approximately 6,000 Sailors who, during the last four months, have successfully completed refresher training and certifications to ensure they operate effectively and safely together.
"We have trained long and hard to get to this day," said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, commander of the Enterprise CSG. "Since beginning workups in April of last year, this team of Sailors and Marines in our strike group have honed their skills at sea in order to be ready to execute our missions of forward naval presence, maritime security operations, theater security cooperation and crisis response, if required."
This is the third deployment leading an aircraft carrier into combat operations during the last three years for Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, who assumed duties as commanding officer of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Jan. 4. Mewbourne most recently commanded USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), where led her crew through two successful combat deployments.
"Enterprise has a proud history of more than 49 years. Our nation, our Navy and our families, too, should be proud of our crew who has gone above and beyond to make the ship ready to deploy," said Mewbourne. "Make no mistake, Enterprise and her crew are ready to answer our nation's call."
Before saying their goodbyes and pulling away from the pier, Enterprise Sailors were busy working around the clock to make final deployment preparations to ensure thousands of mission-essential supplies were properly on-loaded, off-loaded and stowed for sea.
"We've been running the crane every day for the past few weeks now, bringing on all kinds of materials for ship's company and the air wing," said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Matthew R. Cascella, who works for the S-8 Division of Enterprise's Supply Department. "Our duty sections were working up to taps each day to make sure we have all the supplies we need and that they are organized and distributed."
This deployment, the 21st for the carrier since its commissioning in 1961, also marks the first deployment of the centennial year of naval aviation.
"For 100 years, we have operated aircraft from the decks of warships. It's appropriate that our most accomplished active aircraft carrier is the first to deploy this year," said Kraft.
The Enterprise CSG consists of Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.
For news regarding the Enterprise CSG's deployment, visit the ship's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USS.Enterprise.CVN.65 or visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.