Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Enterprise Strike Group to Deploy

NORFOLK , Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Second Fleet announced Jan. 7, that Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (ENT CSG) will deploy for operations in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas Jan. 13.

This deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe. Working with allied and partner maritime forces, ENT CSG units will focus heavily on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts which help establish conditions for regional stability.

"I'm extremely proud of the men and women of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group," said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, commander of ENT CSG. "These sailors and Marines have exceeded all expectations in a very short amount of time. We are trained and ready to go over the horizon and support our joint and coalition partners in the execution our nation's maritime strategy."

ENT CSG consists of approximately 6,000 sailors who, over the last four months, have successfully completed refresher training and certifications to ensure they operate effectively and safely together.

"Enterprise returned to the waterfront last spring ready to tackle her upcoming deployment. The strike group spent most of October at sea training during a challenging Composite Training Unit Exercise, and after a successful Joint Task Force Exercise in December, we spent our time ensuring the ship, our Sailors, and our families were ready for this deployment," said Kraft.

This is the third deployment leading an aircraft carrier into combat operations over the last three years for Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, who assumed duties as commanding officer of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Tuesday. Mewbourne most recently commanded USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and while in command he completed two successful combat deployments supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

"It is clear Team Enterprise is trained and ready to accomplish the missions that lay ahead. I am honored to be joining such a professional crew and to be a part of the legacy and heritage of Enterprise," Mewbourne said.

ENT CSG is made up of Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), and USS Mason (DDG 87). The squadrons of CVW 1 embarked in Enterprise are Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 "Red Rippers," VFA 136 "Knighthawks," VFA 211 "Fighting Checkmates," Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251 "Thunderbolts," Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123 "Screwtops," Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 137 "Rooks," Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 "Rawhides," and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 11 "Dragonslayers."