USA: IKECSG Deploys from Naval Station Norfolk
The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG), with nearly 4,500 Sailors, deployed from Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Station Mayport, Fla., Feb. 21, to support operations in the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleets.
The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), commanded by Capt. Marcus A. Hitchcock, along with German Frigate FGS Hamburg (F220), commanded by Commander Ralf Kuchler, departed from Naval Station Norfolk, and the guided missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66), commanded by Capt. Dan Uhls, from Naval Station Mayport.
Eisenhower returned three months earlier than previously scheduled in order to resurface its flight deck prior to a planned redeployment. The IKECSG is redeploying to support carrier strike group presence requirements in the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet area of operations. Working with allied and partner maritime forces, the IKECSG Sailors will focus heavily on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
“This strike group is tested and always ready for the next mission,” said Rear Adm. Michael C. Manazir, CSG 8 commander. “I’m proud of the versatility and flexibility of every Sailor in this strike group. They have proven that we can meet all tasks set out for us by our fleet commanders. I look forward to once again playing a part in ensuring the security of international waterways and building partnerships around the world.”
For this deployment, IKECSG is comprised of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN69), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, German Frigate FGS Hamburg (F220) and USS Hue City (CG 66). Aircraft squadrons of CVW-7 include strike fighter squadrons VFA-143 “Pukin Dogs,” VFA-131 “Wildcats,” VFA-83 “Rampagers” and VFA-103 “Jolly Rogers,” tactical electronics warfare squadron VAQ-140 “Patriots,” carrier airborne early warning squadron VAW-121 “Bluetails,” Fleet Logistics Support Squadron VRC-40 “Rawhides” and helicopter anti-submarine squadron HS-5 “Nightdippers.”
Naval Today Staff, February 22, 2013; Image: US Navy