Carrier Strike Group
In the CNO Guidance for 2003 Admiral Vernon Clark stipulated that the terms "Carrier Battle Groups" and "Amphibious Readiness Groups" would no longer be the standards terms and that they would be replaced by Carrier Strike Groups and Expeditionary Strike Groups, respectively, by March 2003. The goal being to find ways to effectively produce naval capability in a more efficient manner.
Under this initiative, Cruiser-Destroyer and Carrier Groups are designated as Carrier Strike Groups (CSG) and aligned directly under the numbered fleet commanders. This realignment gives key operational leaders authority and direct access to the people needed to more effectively accomplish the Navy's mission. Formerly, Carrier Group (CARGRU) and Cruiser-Destroyer Group (CRUDESGRU) staffs were under the administrative authority of the air and surface type commanders (TYCOM). With this new initiative, authority and control will come from the numbered fleet commanders who are responsible for the training and certification of the entire Strike Group. The organizational structure to support the Carrier Strike Groups focuses more on placing Strike Group commanders under the authority of the certifying officer, or the numbered fleet commander.
Under this concept, the warfare distinction of either the air-side or the surface-side is removed and is unified as Carrier Strike Groups.
The carrier strike group (CVSG) provides the full range of capabilities that were present in carrier battle groups. It remains the joint task force commander's premier power projection option. However, because surface combatants will be needed for Expeditionary Strike Groups and Surface Action Groups, the number of ships escorting the carrier would be reduced.
In the new concept, the CVSG would deploy with three or four surface combatants, all Aegis ships. With the introduction of an improved E-2C Hawkeye aircraft and CEC, these ships would provide the group with sufficient defense against the most likely air, surface and subsurface threats.
In larger scale conflict or higher threat scenarios, combining multiple CVSGs with SAGs and ESGs would provide the level of combat capability, power projection and force protection required. This consolidated group is known as the expeditionary strike force (ESF).
It is important to note that there really is no real definition of a strike group. Strike groups are formed and disestablished on an as needed basis, and one may be different from another. However, they all are comprised of similar types of ships. Typically a carrier strike group might have:
- a carrier - The carrier provides a wide range of options to the U.S. government from simply showing the flag to attacks on airborne, afloat and ashore targets. Because carriers operate in international waters, its aircraft do not need to secure landing rights on foreign soil. These ships also engage in sustained operations in support of other forces.
- two guided missile cruisers - multi-mission surface combatants. Equipped with Tomahawks for long-range strike capability.
- a guided missile destroyer - multi-mission suface combatant, used primarily for anti-air warfare (AAW)
- a destroyer - primarily for anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
- a frigate - primarily for anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
- two attack submarines - in a direct support role seeking out and destroying hostile surface ships and submarines
- a combined ammunition, oiler, and supply ship - provides logistic support enabling the Navy's forward presence: on station, ready to respond
The Carrier Strike Group (CVSG) could be employed in a variety of roles, all of which would involve the gaining and maintenance of sea control:
- Protection of economic and/or military shipping.
- Protection of a Marine amphibious force while enroute to, and upon arrival in, an amphibious objective area.
- Establishing a naval presence in support of national interests.
Aside from the renumbering of the Strike Groups, the actual change will directly affect only the administrative chain of command for the 14 CSG staffs. The ships and hardware remain administratively under their current platform TYCOM.
Strike Group commanders remain accountable to the numbered fleet commanders for integrated and sustainment training, and to the TYCOM for materiel readiness and unit (basic) level training of Strike Group units. The CSGs have been renumbered with respect to Navy tradition, with even numbers on the east coast and odd numbers on the west. To preserve their current recognized role as training groups, CSG 1 and 4 have retained their numbers.
Carrier Groups (CCG) and Cruiser-Destroyer Groups (CCDG) will be renamed commander, Carrier Strike Groups (CCSG).
CCG numbers will carry over to the newly formed CSGs, including CCG2, CCG4, CCG6, CCG8, CCG1, CCG3, CCG5, and CCG7. CCDG will be renamed as follows: CCDG2 to CCSG10; CCDG8 to CCSG12; CCDG12 to CCSG14; CCDG1 to CCSG15; CCDG3 to CCSG9; and CCDG5 to CCSG11.
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