SUEZ CANAL (NNS) -- The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG) entered the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of European allies and regional and coalition partners as part of a routine deployment, Dec. 4. Aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)(Ike) transited the Suez Canal, accompanied by guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), after five months of providing air support operations in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the Arabian Gulf.
In support of OIR, the strike group joined coalition partners to conduct air strikes in Iraq and Syria. Since June 28, Ike with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 completed 1,685 combat sorties and expended 1,581 ordnance from both the Arabian Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
"The presence of the Ike CSG in the Mediterranean demonstrates the capability of the U.S. Navy to conduct precision strikes on ISIL targets in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from multiple
theaters," said Rear Adm. James Malloy, commander, CSG 10. "It highlights the mobility, flexibility, and power projection capability of the Navy's globally-deployed force. And with a mobile and
sustainable warship like this aircraft carrier and with our strike group cruisers and destroyers, we can operate where and when we choose and take the fight to the enemy, whether it is in the
Arabian Gulf or Mediterranean Sea."
While in the Arabian Gulf, Sailors aboard "the Mighty Ike" partook in three port visits to the partner nations of Bahrain and United Arab Emirates. This was a first for many of the 5,200 Sailors to experience to explore these Arab nations, and to learn firsthand about Middle Eastern culture and history. To further the experience, the "Ike-Battle Axe Team" welcomed regional partners aboard the aircraft carrier for a day at sea. These embarks highlighted the close relationship and mutual interests the U.S. Navy has with its regional partners to protect freedom of navigation and regional stability in a dynamic environment.
The strike group previously conducted combat operations from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea from June 28 to July 7. Ike's ability to support OIR from the Mediterranean and the Arabian Gulf demonstrates the flexibility and capability of U.S. naval forces.
Malloy explained, "The performance of the Ike CSG to date has been impressive. This team is combat proven and dedicated to the mission; they understand the importance of working with our coalition partners from the region and around the globe, and feel a sense urgency to defeat ISIL and protect innocent lives."
The Ike CSG brings multi-mission capable platforms to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations with strike; ballistic missile defense; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities to support U.S. allies, as well as regional and coalition partners.
The Ike CSG consists of Ike, the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 staff, San Jacinto and USS Monterey (CG 61), and Roosevelt, USS Mason (DDG 87), and USS Nitze (DDG 94). CVW 3 includes Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 32 "Swordsmen," VFA 86 "Sidewinders," VFA 105 "Gunslingers," and VFA 131 "Wildcats;" Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 130 "Zappers;" Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123 "Screwtops;" Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 "Rawhides;" Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 "Swamp Foxes;" and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 "Dusty Dogs."
Ike, embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, and Ike CSG are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Press release by USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Public Affairs, picture by by Seaman Casey S. Trietsch/Released