Carrier Air Wing SEVEN (CVW 7)
Carrier Air Wing SEVEN was originally commissioned 20 July 1943 at Alameda Naval Air Station, California, as Carrier Air Group EIGHTEEN. After an intensive training period, the air group embarked in USS INTREPID (CV 11) and participated in combat operations against the Japanese during World War II. In September 1945, the air group transferred to Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island and became Carrier Air Group SEVEN. During the Korean War, Carrier Air Group SEVEN flew close air support strikes, attacks on industrial facilities and supply line interdiction missions from the deck of USS BONHOMME RICHARD (CVA 31).
After moving from Quonset Point to Naval Air Station, Oceana in 1958, the Air Group teamed up with USS INDEPENDENCE (CVA 61) and deployed as the first all jet air wing. During the years from 1966 - 1977 Air Wing SEVEN completed seven Mediterranean deployments in USS INDEPENDENCE and participated in numerous NATO exercises. In early 1978, Air Wing SEVEN embarked in USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) for shakedown and weapons training in the Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico operating area.
On 1 March 1978, Air Wing SEVEN became permanently assigned to USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) and deployed in January 1979 for IKE's maiden, Mediterranean voyage. From April through December 1980, Air Wing SEVEN embarked for an Indian Ocean deployment in support of operations to rescue the hostages in Tehran, following in September and October by NATO exercises in the North Atlantic. From January to July 1982, Air Wing SEVEN embarked for a Mediterranean deployment which included support for the evacuation of Americans from Lebanon. In April 1983, the IKE/CVW-7 team began another Mediterranean deployment that included the first 1000NM over water night intercept for an F-14, multiple CV Battle Group operations with USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) and USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67), and support of the Multi-national Peace Keeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon.
CVW-7 deployed to the Mediterranean once again from October 1984 to May 1985. Multiple training and support service detachments were conducted in 1986 while IKE was undergoing overhaul in the yards. Reunited in 1987, the IKE/CVW-7 team worked up in preparation for Mediterranean Deployment 1-88. A highly successful SOLID SHIELD exercise in the spring of 1989 was followed by extensive work ups in preparation for a 1990 deployment. Mediterranean Deployment 2-90 became a Red Sea excursion as the IKE/CVW-7 Battle Group was the first on scene to deter Iraqi aggression in Operation DESERT SHIELD. Once relieved IKE/CVW-7 returned home and began a compressed turnaround training cycle for a May 1991 CENTCOM deployment. As DESERT STORM progressed to quick victory, the deployment was delayed to reestablish the normal CV deployment cycle. In September 1991 CVW-7/IKE deployed to the Red Sea/Arabian Gulf as part of post hostilities Operation DESERT STORM. They were the first CV and Air Wing team to deploy for a second time to DESERT SHIELD/STORM. CVW-7/IKE concluded the highly successful deployment by proceeding from CENTCOM directly to Operation TEAMWORK '92 off the northern coast of Norway.
In September 1992 CVW-7 initially embarked in USS GEORGE WASHINGTON(CVN 73) for a weapons system shakedown. Carrier Air Wing SEVEN deployed in USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) as a component of Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group TWO on 20 May 1994. Following refresher carrier qualifications, the Battle Group transited to Portsmouth, England to participate in the Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. The Commemoration activities were highlighted by port visits to England, Brest, France and President Clinton's stay aboard the carrier.
Following turnover with USS SARATOGA (CV 60), the Battle Group proceeded directly to the Adriatic to conduct operations in support of Operation DENY FLIGHT and SHARP GUARD. In response to aggressive Iraqi troop movements south towards Kuwait, the GW Battle Group transited the Suez Canal at maximum speed. Arabian Gulf Operations VIGILANT WARRIOR and SOUTHERN WATCH were resumed on 15 October 1994. After Iraqi forces turned north and tensions eased, the Battle Group returned to the Mediterranean Sea. Turnover with the IKE Battle Group took place north of the Suez Canal and the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON/CVW-7 returned to a rainy Norfolk on 17 November 1994.
An intensive trunaround training period followed involving Orange Air and Fallon Weapons detachments, TSTA I & II, COMPTUEX and JTFEX. CVW-7 deployed in USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) on 26 January 1996 for a Mediterranean/Red Sea/Arabian Gulf deployment supporting Operations DENY FLIGHT and SOUTHERN WATCH. CVW-7 returned to CONUS on 23 July 1996.
In September 1996 CVW-7 began preparations for a 26 February 1998 around the world deployment in USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74). This Joint Task Group 98-2 deployment included over four months on station in the Northern Arabian Gulf supporting Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
In June 1999 CVW-7 started preparation for their next deployment reuniting in USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69).
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