During the port visit, Vice Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, visited the Eisenhower and addressed the crew over the ship’s public address system.
“It is wonderful to see the IKE crew out here in the 5th Fleet, still leading the way after having undergone some of the most demanding conditions from her previous deployment,” said Paparo. “Having been previously stationed aboard as a naval aviator years back and seeing the enduring commitment that the crew brings to today’s mission only reinforces the strength and resilience that’s infused in everything IKE and the strike group as a whole has accomplished in U.S. 6th Fleet and what has carried on into our area of operations.”
While in 5th Fleet, the IKE CSG is operating and training alongside regional and coalition partners, and providing naval aviation support to Operation Inherent Resolve.
Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, include the Eisenhower; guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61); and guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72) and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, embarked on Eisenhower include the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; “Screwtops” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130 and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40, the “Rawhides”.
The 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of global commerce.
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