U.S. Navy’s Eisenhower carrier strike group (Ike CSG) departed the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations on December 26, six days after it set sail from the French city of Marseille.
The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), and guided-missile destroyers USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Nitze (DDG 94) concluded missions in the Mediterranean, which included airstrike operations against ISIL within operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
Upon arriving in the eastern Mediterranean from the Red Sea, Ike conducted dual carrier operations with the French ship Charles de Gaulle to combine their efforts in support of OIR in Iraq and Syria.
The Ike CSG launched its first air strikes in support of OIR from the eastern Mediterranean Sea, June 28 to July 7, followed by air strikes from the Arabian Gulf, July 28 to Nov. 25, and concluded air strikes from the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Dec. 6-12.
“During our joint operations, I had the opportunity to visit the flagship of the French strike group and witness her incredible combat power firsthand as we integrated operations of our two forces, including watching French and American pilots practice landing on opposite carriers,” said Rear Adm. Jim Malloy, commander, carrier strike group (CSG) 10.
The Ike CSG totaled 1,900 combat sorties for 12,315 flight hours throughout the six months of support efforts to OIR, including 215 air sorties and 995 ordnance expended while the ship was positioned in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Before departing the U.S. 6th Fleet AOO, the ships supported TSC efforts including distinguished visitor embarks and port visits. Ike hosted officials from Greece, Spain and France on board to observe U.S. aircraft carrier operations and engage with Sailors while the ship was at sea.
Ike further strengthened ties with the French Navy and people by conducting training with the Charles de Gaulle and conducting a port call in Marseille, France, where sailors were able to experience French culture.
The Ike CSG is now entering the final stages of a seven-month deployment, as they cross the Atlantic to head home to conclude Ike’s 15th combat deployment since the ship was commissioned in 1977.