Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Joins Others Deployed to 5th Fleet

Story Number: NNS030407-10Release Date: 4/7/2003 4:01:00 PM
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By Journalist Seaman Kristine DeHoux, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group recently entered the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility, making it the fourth carrier strike group in the region deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is accompanied by USS Chosin (CG 65), USS Princeton (CG 59), USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60), USS Oldendorf (DD 972) and USS Bridge (AOE 10).

This deployment marks the first time the carrier has deployed to the U.S. Central Command region since 1997. As the lead ship in its class, Nimitz was the first to conduct a refueling complex overhaul, which required the ship to return to its birthplace of Newport News, Va., for three years in 1998.

Upon completion of its refueling complex overhaul, Nimitz conducted an interfleet transfer to its new homeport of San Diego. After a brief post-shakedown availability at Naval Air Station, North Island, Nimitz and crew began preparing for deployment.

Nimitz and its carrier strike group, lead by Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 5, Rear Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, were certified ready for deployment in January.

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Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) watch from the ship’s flight deck as the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) enters the Arabian Gulf region.
030407-N-6817C-011 The Arabian Gulf (Apr. 7, 2003) -- Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) watch from the ship's flight deck as the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) enters the Arabian Gulf region to relieve Lincoln and Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW-14), following nine months of deployment supporting Operations Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Lincoln will return to her homeport of Everett, Wash. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the multi-national coalition effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and end the regime of Saddam Hussein. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements. (RELEASED)
April 8, 2003
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