Constellation Strike Group WESTPAC 01 Deployment
CVA / CV 64 Constellation
"Connie" / "America's Flag Ship"
Constellation Battle Group (CBG) is comprised of several different commands, all which reside under the authority of Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group ONE (CCDG-1). Constellation, often referred to by its hull number (CV 64), is the centerpiece of the battle group. Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW 2), is made up of eight Navy squadrons and one Marine Corps squadron. The other ships and submarines in the battle group are under the command of Commander Destroyer Squadron SEVEN (DESRON 7).
"WestPac", or Western Pacific deployment, describes the scheduled six-month period of overseas operations of the carrier and its battle group. Constellation began its 20th WestPac on 16 March 2001. The entire battle group trained for six months in preparation for this deployment through a series of increasingly challenging exercises and operations. Those pre-deployment exercises culminated in February 2001 with the successful completion of Joint Task Force Exercise 01-1. In addition to CONSTELLATION and the embarked air wing, CARRIER AIR WING TWO, deploying ships of the CVBG include the guided missile cruiser USS CHOSIN (CG 65); the guided missile destroyer USS BENFOLD (DDG 65); the destroyer USS KINKAID (DD 965); the guided missile frigate USS THACH (FFG 43); the Canadian frigate HMCS WINNIPEG (FFH-338); the fast combat support ship USS RAINIER (AOE 7); and the attack submarines USS SANTA FE (SSN 763) and USS COLUMBIA (SSN 771).
The BOXER Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), which departed San Diego 13 March 2001 with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU)/Special Operations Capable (SOC) embarked, also are deployed as a major component of the battle group. The ARG is comprised of the amphibious assault ship USS BOXER (LHD 4), the amphibious transport dock ship USS CLEVELAND (LPD 7), and the dock landing ship USS HARPERS FERRY (LSD 49).
Over a six month period, battle group ships conduct multi-national and joint operations with the navies of various allied countries, and visit ports in Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf nations. The ships and squadrons planned to return home in September 2001.
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