Carl Vinson Strike Group Departs for Deployment to Western Pacific
SAN DIEGO — More than 6,000 Sailors assigned to Carl Vinson Strike Group ships and units departed the U.S. West Coast, Jan. 4-5, for a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, Carrier Strike Group One said in a Jan. 5 release.
The deployment marks the second time the Strike Group will operate throughout the Indo-Pacific region under U.S. Third Fleet’s command and control. The strike group became the first in recent history to demonstrate the command and control construct called Third Fleet Forward when units completed a six-month deployment last year.
Ships deploying from U.S. Third Fleet to the Western Pacific traditionally shifted to U.S. Seventh Fleet after crossing the international dateline. The Third Fleet Forward construct expands Third Fleet’s control of ships and aircraft across the Western Pacific and beyond the international dateline to India, enabling Third and Seventh Fleets to operate together across a broad spectrum of maritime missions in region.
“I look forward to the strike group further demonstrating Third Fleet’s evolving operational role across the Indo-Pacific region,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, the strike group commander. “We are trained and ready to execute our mission.”
The strike group includes aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, and guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy from Destroyer Squadron 1.
Michael Murphy is based in Hawaii and will later join the strike group as it transits toward the Western Pacific.
In November, ships and units completed a three-week sustainment training exercise off the coast of Southern California. The strike group demonstrated readiness for executing missions across all warfare areas after successfully conducting a series of at-sea drills, missile shoots, and strike operations using a variety of naval platforms and weapons.
CVQ 2 includes more than 70 aircraft from the “Black Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4, the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron, the “Bounty Hunters” of Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2, the “Blue Blasters” of VFA-34, the “Kestrels” of VFA-137, the “Golden Dragons” of VFA-192, the “Black Eagles” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 113, the “Gauntlets” of Electronic Attack Squadron 136, and the “Providers” of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30 Detachment 2.
The Carl Vinson Strike Group provides U.S. leaders capable and ready options for maintaining regional maritime security, stability and freedom of the seas in accordance with international law and customs.