USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, At Sea (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 were awarded the "Jig Dog" Ramage Carrier and Carrier Air Wing Operational Excellence Award for 2006 on Feb. 27.
The Navywide award is selected jointly by Type Commanders (TYCOM) and is presented to the Carrier/Air Wing team with the best performance as an integrated unit.
Ike Commanding Officer Capt. Dan Cloyd credits the combined efforts of IKE and CVW-7, known aboard IKE as Team 769, for the accomplishment.
"It's a Team 769 award and a recognition of our collective excellence," said Cloyd. "We're proud and honored to represent the Navy's carrier air wing force."
Sailors from the air wing are excited about the award, and grateful for the acknowledgement of a job well done.
"We worked some pretty long hours down there on the hangar bay, keeping those jets flying," said Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman (AW) Nicholas Warthen from the "Wildcats" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131. "It's a really good feeling knowing it got noticed."
The award is a reflection of the progress the ship and air wing have made in their short time together, since the ship's mid-life overhaul.
"I couldn't be more proud," said Capt. Scott Stearney, Commander, CVW-7. "I was thinking about where we were last year. We just got off our first at sea period where we integrated the ship and the air wing together."
Sailors who saw the transition from separate entities to combined ship-air wing team have noted Team 769's accomplishments with pride.
"Back when we first started going out, we were doing carrier qualifications and just launching jets constantly," said Air Traffic Controller 1st Class (AW/SW) Jason Marr. "Now we're able to handle cyclic ops, going anywhere from three to 23 planes, in good weather or bad weather."
CVW-7 includes Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 "Tigertails," Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103 "Jolly Rogers," Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 "Wildcats," Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 "Pukin' Dogs," Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83 "Rampagers," Electronic Attack (VAQ) Squadron 140 "Patriots," and Helicopter Anti-submarine (HS) 5 "Nightdippers."
Ike is the flagship for the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which includes its embarked air wing, CVW-7, and embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28; guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68); guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61); and guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87).
The Ike CSG departed Naval Station Norfolk on Oct. 3, for a regularly scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and entered the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations Oct. 30.
For related news, visit the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.