[Ed. – Let’s practice being calm about a routine carrier strike group deployment. USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN-69) is presumed to be headed to the Middle East, from which USS Nimitz (CVN-68), a West-coast carrier, recently departed. Ike may (or may not) do some flag-showing and joint exercises with European NATO allies on the way. We’ll see what the “Biden” priorities are. But there’s nothing exciting going on here, other than the fact that all carrier deployments are the coolest thing that happens in modern life.]
Norfolk, Va. — The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and the ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG), departed for deployment Feb. 18, after successfully completing a historic Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX), that included a NATO vignette and training with SEALS from an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Group for the first time in recent history.
The IKE CSG is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 6,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe.
Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, include flagship USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), commanded by Capt. Paul F. Campagna; eight squadrons from Carrier Air Wing Three; Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Monterey (CG 61) and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72); Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Laboon (DDG 58), USS Mahan (DDG 72) and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) from Destroyer Squadron 22 stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, commanded by Capt. Marcos Jasso, embarked on Eisenhower include the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; “Screwtops” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”