Wednesday, January 27, 2010

USS Eisenhower Relieves USS Nimitz as TF50 Commander

GULF OF OMAN (NNS) -- The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (CSG) relieved the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group as Commander, Task Force 50 Jan. 25.

"The Eisenhower Strike Group is ready to support any requirement for troops on the ground in Afghanistan and execute the U.S. Maritime Strategy in the region," said Rear Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, Eisenhower Strike Group. "The Eisenhower, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, and all the ships in the strike group are committed and ready to continue the superb effort that Nimitz Strike Group carried out to increase security and stability throughout the region."

"The Nimitz has done an amazing job, and the Sailors aboard Ike are trained and ready to fill behind them," said Capt. Dee Mewbourne, commanding officer, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). "Taking over from Nimitz, we will continue to improve the security and stability in this part of the world through the outstanding professionalism of our Sailors."

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group has operated in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations since Sept. 18. with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 aircraft flying more than 2,600 combat sorties and 15,296 cumulative flight hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

"I am very proud of the Strike Group's support to coalition forces in Afghanistan, our aircraft launched and executed with thoughtful precision, fused to the directives of the supported commander," said Rear Adm. John W. Miller, commander, Nimitz Strike Group. "I am equally proud of our contribution to counterpiracy operations off the Horn of Africa, protecting critical Iraqi infrastructure in the North Arabian Gulf and the wide range of support provided to ensure maritime security here.

"Through our operations and training in 5th Fleet, we enhanced cooperative relationships with our regional partners who are key to the Maritime Strategy," said Miller.

Ships of the CSG endeavored to create a lawful maritime order by deterring piracy, protecting critical infrastructure and conducting Maritime Security Operations throughout the region.

"Everyone in the Nimitz-CVW 11 team contributed during our time here on the line," said Capt. Paul O. Monger, Nimitz' commanding officer. "We generated a 99.62 percent sortie completion rate for OEF, our aircraft were there for coalition forces on the ground every day – that was due to the collective efforts of everyone on board. We saved lives and helped bring security and stability in the region."

Like Nimitz, Eisenhower will provide 30 percent of the close air support missions flown to protect coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan.

Eisenhower CSG is comprised of Dwight D. Eisenhower, embarked Carrier Air Wing 7, embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66). Ships assigned to DESRON 28 include the destroyers USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Carney (DDG 64)and USS McFaul (DDG 74). These ships will be assigned to tasks forces throughout the region aimed at improving regional and maritime security.

Squadrons from CVW 7 include the "Puking Dogs" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143, the "Jolly Rogers" of VFA 103, the "Rampagers" of VFA 83, the "Wildcats" of VFA 131, the "Night Dippers" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 5, the "Patriots" of Electronic Attack Squadron 140, the "Blue Tails" of Carrier Airborne Command and Control Squadron 121 and the "Rawhides" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40.

Helicopter detachments include the "Proud Warriors" of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42 and the "Swamp Foxes" of HSL 44.

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is on a routine deployment to the region. Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States' commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity.