PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) welcomed aboard Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 to continue its 2013 patrol, Sept. 14.
Carrier Air Wing 5 is the nation's only "911" air wing and is a critical combat strike element of Battle Force 7th Fleet, the only forward-deployed carrier strike group in the U.S. Navy.
"Our goals are to support our operational chain of command's engagement strategy in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations while remaining ready to dissuade or react to any adversary that may threaten our interests in the region," said Capt. Michael Boyle, CVW-5's commanding officer.
During the first half of George Washington's patrol, CVW-5 participated in exercise Talisman Saber (TS), which is a biennial training event aimed to improve Australian Defence Force and U.S. combat readiness and interoperability as a Combined Joint Task Force.
"The combined work the carrier strike group [CSG] and the Australians accomplished during Talisman Saber helped promote greater international relations and train our aircrew for a variety of missions," said Lt. j.g. Eric Valdez, an aviator assigned to the "Liberty Bells" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 115. "As we progress into our patrol, we will continue to support and train with the CSG and our allied forces."
CVW-5 is comprised of nine squadrons with approximately 1,900 Sailors and 67 aircraft, which complete the full capacity of operations and manning for George Washington.
"We will initially focus on night landing currency," said Boyle. "Each pilot needs two-days of landings before landing at night, and each night recovery has to be accomplished within 29 days of the last night carrier landing or field carrier landing practice would be required at Iwo To."
CVW-5 commenced their first day of flight operations soon after their return.
"CVW-5 will conduct air-to-air and air-to-surface training exercises with our allied forces," said Boyle. "The air wing will continue to support these evolutions and demonstrate the capabilities of a carrier at sea."
CVW-5 is a collection of aircraft designed to perform various functions and exercises. The aircraft are attached to: the "Diamondbacks" of Strike Fight Squadron (VFA) 102 flying the F/A-18F Super Hornet; the "Royal Maces" of VFA-27, the "Eagles" of VFA-115 and the "Dambusters" VFA-195 each flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet; the "Shadowhawks" of Electronic Attack Squadron 141 flying the EA-18G Growler; VAW-115 flying the E-2C Hawkeye; the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30, Detachment 5, flying the C-2A Greyhound; the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 flying the MH-60S Seahawk; and the "Saberhawks" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 flying the MH-60R Seahawk.
George Washington and CVW 5 provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.