USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The ships and embarked squadrons from the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) entered U.S. 6th Fleet's Area of Responsibility (AOR) Jan. 20.
This milestone marks the culmination of more than two years of work for thousands of Sailors aboard the world's oldest, largest and first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
USS Enterprise (CVN 65), CSG 12, Destroyer Squadron 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Mason (DDG 87) and the eight squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 entered the AOR, an imaginary line that transfers operational tasking authority for the CSG from U.S. 2nd Fleet.
While in the area, the Enterprise CSG will conduct the full range of maritime operations and theater security cooperation efforts in concert with coalition, joint, interagency and other partners in order to improve maritime safety and security.
"We already have an extensive schedule of operations and exercises with our maritime partners throughout the region," said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, commander, Enterprise CSG. "The Mediterranean Sea is a critical sea lane in our global economy and remains secure because of the strong relationships between the navies that operate in the area."
Operating with allied navies and building upon already strong relationships is a key tenant in the Maritime Strategy. Also key to building such relationships is developing our Sailors and Marines to better understand the cultures, history and languages of the region, according to Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, commanding officer of Enterprise.
"We have trained hard to get to this day and now look forward to learning from and building upon the relationships of our maritime allies in the area," Mewbourne said. "This team of Sailors and Marines has honed its skills at sea, but is also looking forward to experiencing the culture and history of this beautiful part of the world."
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," Kraft said.
Following its mission in 6th Fleet, the CSG is scheduled to operate in the 5th Fleet AOR to support maritime security operations (MSO) and theater security cooperation efforts.
MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
For news regarding Enterprise Strike Group's deployment, log onto www.navy.mil/local/cvn65 or visit the USS Enterprise Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USS.Enterprise.CVN.65.
For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.