U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its carrier strike group left their homeport in San Diego on January 5 to begin their deployment to the western Pacific.
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and embarked Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 1 deployed with Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).
Carl Vinson is currently the U.S. Navy’s only deployed aircraft carrier. When USS Dwight D. Eisenhower returned from a seven-month deployment on December 30, the U.S. Navy had no aircraft carrier deployed. Aircraft carrier gaps in certain regions are not unusual and have happened before. However, having no aircraft carriers deployed anywhere is something that has not happened since WWII.
While deployed, the Carl Vinson CSG will remain under U.S. 3rd Fleet command and control, including beyond the international dateline which previously divided operational areas of responsibility for 3rd and 7th Fleets.
Third Fleet operating forward offers additional options to the Pacific Fleet commander by leveraging the capabilities of 3rd and 7th Fleets. This operational concept allows both numbered fleets to complement one another.
“Our forward presence contributes to freedom of navigation and lawful use of the sea, as well as furthers operational training and enabling the exchange of culture, skills, and tactical knowledge,” said Commander, CSG 1, Rear Adm. James W. Kilby.
Homeported in Pearl Harbor, USS Michael Murphy will join the Carl Vinson CSG later this month as the strike group makes their way to the western Pacific.
The Carl Vinson CSG deployed with approximately 7,500 sailors and will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. The strike group assets will conduct bilateral exercises in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to include anti-submarine warfare, maneuvering drills, gunnery exercises, and visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) subject matter expert exchanges.