MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) -- The Nimitz Strike Group commenced flight operations in the central Mediterranean Sea, Oct. 20.
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), along with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, and Destroyer Squadron 23 is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
"We look forward to strengthening the interoperability between our partner countries in the 6th Fleet region, and building on the common goal of maritime security through exercises and exchanges," said Rear Adm. Michael S. White, commander, CSG 11.
Prior to arriving in the Mediterranean, Nimitz spent the majority of its time in the 5th Fleet with guided-missile destroyers USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) along with guided-missile cruisers USS Princeton (CG 59) and USS Monterey (CG 61).
"Our strike group and air wing have performed admirably during our time in 5th Fleet in the face of uncertainty," said Capt. Jeff Ruth, commanding officer of Nimitz. "Everyone should be very proud of their ability to pull together as a team to get the job done."
While in U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, CVW 11 executed more than 1,200 sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, tallying more than 6,500 flight hours.
"I'm very proud of the effort our Sailors and Marines have contributed during our time in the 5th Fleet AOR," said White. "We have and will continue to remain focused on accomplishing our missions, and I think that shows in the work we've done."
This will be the first time Nimitz will be operating in the 6th Fleet area of operation since 1998.
For more news visit Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet.