Enterprise Strike Group Concludes Operations in 5th Fleet

Story Number: NNS061101-27Release Date: 11/1/2006 4:11:00 PM
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By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class (SW) Jen Crenshaw, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/ Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Carrier Strike Group, including Enterprise, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 successfully completed its second portion of operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations Nov. 1.

"After nearly two consecutive months of operations, Enterprise's steadfast contribution to stability and security in the region is without question," said Capt. Larry Rice, commanding officer of Enterprise. "For nearly 45 years, from the Cuban Missile Crisis, to Vietnam, to the first air operations in Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001, Enterprise has resolutely stood 'ready on arrival.' This deployment is no exception."

More than 5,000 Sailors and Marines assigned to the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group supported Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, as well as conducted maritime security operations (MSO) in the region. Enterprise and CVW-1 provided air support to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops and other coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan. Enterprise-based aircraft expended more than 120 weapons against Taliban extremists in Afghanistan since arriving on station in early September.

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. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

"The near-worldwide deployment of the Enterprise Strike Group, particularly our operations during the last two months in Afghanistan and Iraq, demonstrate the Navy's unique ability to take the battle to our enemies while also strengthening relationships among our regional partners," said Rear Adm. Ray Spicer, Enterprise Strike Group commander. "In addition to successful combat operations against those who would threaten peace and stability in the region, Sailors and Marines of the Enterprise Strike Group proved to be remarkable ambassadors in this vital area of the world."

Enterprise hosted a number of distinguished visitors, including ISAF Air Component Commander, Air Commodore, Bryan Collins, Royal Air Force Air; Commander, Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa, Rear Adm. Richard W. Hunt; Minister of Defense for Yemen Staff, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Naser Ahmed; and a host of U.S. ambassadors and foreign dignitaries.

Sailors and Marines served as ambassadors during a visit to the port city of Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 18-23. During the brief stop, crew members received some well-deserved rest and relaxation after two months of continuous combat operations. Sailors and Marines took advantage of sightseeing opportunities and shopping venues in the nearby city of Dubai.

The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (ENTSTKGRU) is comprised of CVW-1, DESRON 2, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise, the guided-missile destroyers USS McFaul (DDG 74), the guided-missile frigate USS Nicholas (FFG 47), the fast-combat support ship USS Supply (T-AOE 6), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).

The squadrons of CVW-1 include the "Sidewinders" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, the "Checkmates" of VFA-211, the "Knighthawks" of VFA-136, the "Thunderbolts" of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 251, the "Screwtops" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123, the "Rooks" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 137, the "Maulers" of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 32, the "Rawhides" of Carrier Logistics Support (VRC) 40, and the "Dragonslayers" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 11.

Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet's area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Persian Gulf, Persian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse includes three critical chokepoints at the Suez Canal, the Straits of Hormuz, and the Straits of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

Sailors assigned to the Sidewinders of Strike Fighter Squadron Eight Six (VFA-86) and a pilot give thumbs-up to signal aircraft directors that his F/A-18C Hornet is ready to be directed to launch from the flight deck.
061024-N-9742R-129 Gulf of Oman (Oct. 24, 2006) - Sailors assigned to the "Sidewinders" of Strike Fighter Squadron Eight Six (VFA-86) and a pilot give thumbs-up to signal aircraft directors that his F/A-18C Hornet is ready to be directed to launch from the flight deck of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). Enterprise and embarked Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) are currently on a scheduled six-month deployment in support of the maritime security operations and the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Milosz Reterski (RELEASED)
October 25, 2006
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