Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group have deployed from San Diego in support of global maritime security operations in the Pacific.
The Nimitz left on June 8 following a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) that tested the strike group’s ability to carry out sustained combat operations from the sea.
“The carrier strike group team is trained and ready,” Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander, CSG 11, said in a statement. “The men and women of Carrier Strike Group 11 have demonstrated exceptional tactical and technical expertise, teamwork, and toughness. We are honored to answer the call and operate forward.”
The CSG will participate in “cooperative engagements, multi-lateral exercises and unit-level training, designed to improve capability and capacity among Navy units and partner nations in the regions they may operate in,” the statement adds.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all personnel assigned to the CSG had to complete a minimum of 14 days in quarantine and were tested before getting underway.
“Learning to operate in this COVID environment has not been easy, but the Nimitz crew has demonstrated their adaptability and resiliency in overcoming the challenges and have remained focused on maintaining readiness,” said Capt. Max Clark, commanding officer, in the statement. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team in being ready to deploy on time and mission ready to answer any call.”
CSG deploying units included: Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, which includes Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114). CVW-17 consists of the Lemoore, California-based “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137, “Mighty Shrikes” of VFA 94, “Fighting Redcocks” of VFA 22; the San Diego-based “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the Whidbey Island, Washington-based “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, the Point Mugu, California-based “Sun Kings” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, and the San Diego-based “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, “Battlecats” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 and “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30.
MAIN PHOTO: CORONADO, Calif. (June 8, 2020) The battle flag flies from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as it departs San Diego, June 8, 2020. Nimitz, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 11, is deployed conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sarah Christoph/Released)