Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group MED 15 Deployment
CVN-71 Theodore Roosevelt
More than 6,000 Sailors serving aboard the five ships of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group departed their homeports of Norfolk, Virginia and Mayport, Florida on 06 March 2015. The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), commanded by Capt. Daniel Grieco, departed Naval Station Norfolk along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), while the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) will depart Naval Station Mayport.
Commanded by Rear Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, Carrier Strike Group 12 also includes Destroyer Squadron 2 and nine embarked aircraft squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 1: strike fighter squadrons VFA-11 “Red Rippers,” VMFA-251 “Thunderbolts,” VFA-136 “Knighthawks,” and VFA-211 “Checkmates;” electronic attack squadron VAQ-137 "Rooks;" carrier airborne early warning squadron VAW-125 “Tigertails;” fleet logistics support squadron VRC-40 “Rawhides;” helicopter maritime strike squadron HSM-46 “Grandmasters;” and helicopter sea combat squadron HS-11 “Dragonslayers.”
While deployed, the strike group will serve in the 5th and 6th U.S. Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt entered Navy 6th Fleet waters in Europe on 17 March 2015 for operations on its way to the Middle East. The Roosevelt headed a carrier strike group that comprised five ships and more than 6,000 sailors and Marines. The group departed the East Coast a week esrlier for an anticipated eight-month deployment. It was expected to relieve the USS Carl Vinson strike group, which was conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
The Roosevelt would end its tour in its new home station of San Diego, part of a three-carrier shift to bring the USS George Washington back from the Pacific for nuclear refueling. The Roosevelt will take the place of the USS Ronald Reagan, which is currently based in San Diego but will steam to Yokosuka, Japan, in the summer of2015 to replace the George Washington. The original Reagan crew will bring the Washington stateside for its overhaul and then rotate onto the Roosevelt in San Diego.
Carrier Air Wing 1 out of Virginia Beach was embarked on the Roosevelt. The other ships of the strike group were the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and guided-missile destroyers USS Farragut, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Winston S. Churchill. The Navy’s latest airborne early warning aircraft made its maiden deployment as part of the cruise. Five E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes, which use radar and electronic surveillance to provide a picture of a carrier’s operating area, are assigned to VAW 125, an early warning squadron attached to Carrier Air Wing 1. The new aircraft had a more powerful radar than its predecessor, the E-2C.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) was underway in the US 5th Fleet area of operations supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), escorted by the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), transited the Strait of Hormuz from its station in the Arabian Gulf to the Arabian Sea, 19 April 2015. Theodore Roosevelt and Normandy joined other US forces conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and the Southern Red Sea.
The US Navy increased its presence in this area as a result of the current instability in Yemen. The purpose of these operations is to ensure the vital shipping lanes in the region remain open and safe. The United States remains committed to its regional partners and to maintaining security in the maritime environment.
US military officials said 21 April 2015 the decision to strengthen their naval presence in the Gulf of Aden was designed to preserve options as Yemen’s security situation continues to worsen. They add that the presence of an Iranian convoy in waters near Yemen was "certainly one of the factors" that prompted the action.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the guided missile cruiser USS Normandy joined seven other US warships in the region Monday. Pentagon officials say an Iranian convoy of nine cargo ships is also in international waters in the Gulf of Aden, but that to their knowledge, the US and Iranian ships had not yet seen each other or made any contact.
US officials raised concerns that the Iranian vessels could be trying to deliver weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have long had ties to Iran. The White House said Iran had previously sent weapons to the Houthis, a charge Iran denied. An arms shipment from the Iranians intended for the Houthis would be a clear violation of a United Nations Security Council embargo.
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