IKECSG Completes Maritime Security Operations in U.S. Fifth Fleet AOR

IKECSG Completes Maritime Security Operations in U.S. Fifth Fleet AOR

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG) departed the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), June 13, after spending three months operating with and supporting U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).

The IKECSG re-deployed to the U.S. Fifth Fleet AOR in March 2013 after departing in November 2012 and spending two months back at its homeport in Norfolk, Va, conducting training for the crews and critical maintenance on the ships.

 “The strike group’s surge deployment was critical to maintaining continuous presence at an important time,” said Vice Adm. John W. Miller, Commander Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces. “Despite the short rest at home, The IKE returned ready and performed with renowned pride and professionalism.”

During IKECSG’s second period of operation in the area, the Strike Group was accompanied by German frigate FGS Hamburg (F220). It marked the first time a German ship joined an American carrier strike group to this AOR for a full deployment.

While in the Arabian Gulf and North Arabian Sea, IKECSG conducted maritime security operations, theater security cooperation engagements, and command and control support operations for coalition forces in Afghanistan.

 “The Five-Star Warriors of IKE did a spectacular job supporting our embarked Air Wing squadrons and patrolling the waters in this area of operations,” said Capt. Marcus Hitchcock, commanding officer of IKE. “I could not be more proud of them as a team and as individuals. They have worked hard to stay sharp and motivated while operating safely and accomplishing every mission — on time and to perfection — since finishing workups and our first deployment in 2012.”

Aviators from embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 flew 1,362 sorties and more than 8,033 flight hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

 “As coalition forces begin to transition out of Afghanistan, support from the air became increasingly vital during this deployment,” said Capt. Terry Morris, commander of CVW-7. “Our pilots, the ship and air wing staffs aboard IKE planned and executed the mission expertly.”

While in the AOR, the IKECSG team conducted 32 replenishment-at-sea (RAS) evolutions moving more than 10,000 pallets of cargo, travelled more than 17,000 nautical miles, and had port calls to the Kingdom of Bahrain and Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

“It’s been a privilege to watch the IKECSG team operate over the last year,” said Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, strike group commander. “From supporting Operation Enduring Freedom to protecting the economic commons, providing the necessary security and stability for free trade, this strike group made a difference in this important area of the world. I’m proud of what we accomplished and of each Sailor who played a part on this team.”

The U.S. 5th Fleet AOR encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water, including the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.

IKECSG consists of Dwight D. Eisenhower, CVW 7, guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66), German frigate FSG Hamburg (F220) and Destroyer Squadron 28.

Press Release, June 14, 2013; Image: US Navy