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USS Enterprise Deploys From Norfolk

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS030908-07

Release Date: 9/8/2003 12:57:00 PM

By By Lt. Gary Ross, Commander 2nd Fleet, U.S. NATO/Striking Fleet Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (CVN 65) set sail Aug. 29 from Naval Station Norfolk for its maiden deployment for the Navy's first Carrier Strike Group (CSG).

The CSG, which includes Enterprise with its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and USS Detroit (AOE 8), and more than 7,100 Sailors, will conduct a rigorous training cycle followed by an immediate routine deployment, in support of the global war on terrorism.

The strike group will conduct graduate training exercises, including a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) throughout September. The Enterprise CSG is not currently scheduled to return to their homeport prior to deploying. The exercise, which begins Sept. 10, will utilize areas off the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, and will involve complex strike group training events, naval surface fire-support training and air-to-ground bombing as part of the Atlantic Fleet's new training resource strategy.

COMPTUEX, an exercise designed to forge a CSG into a cohesive, fighting team, is a critical step in the pre-deployment training. Successful completion of COMPTUEX certifies the carrier and its embarked air wing as qualified for open ocean operations.

The Enterprise CSG is commanded by Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group (CCDG) 12, Rear Adm. J. G. Stavridis. "This will be the first deployment of a Carrier Strike Group in the post-Saddam Hussein era, and as such, we are prepared to operate with great flexibility around the world. The Navy's new Fleet Response Concept recognizes that we may surge our forces forward in new groups with less predictable patterns," said Stavridis.

"I would expect Enterprise Carrier Strike Group to surge to a variety of operations in forward-operating areas on an unpredictable schedule, perhaps operating with an Expeditionary Strike Group forward," he continued. "Even more than in the past, we need to be ready to go where the nation needs us."

Once the CSG and ESG combine, they give the regional commander more options and form what's called an Expeditionary Strike Force (ESF). It provides two independent striking groups in theater that are flexible in size, potent across all mission areas, and tailored and trained to fit the task. It also integrates the naval forces, including aircraft, amphibious-assault ships, surface combatants, submarines, helicopters and replenishment ships.

The Argentinean destroyer, ARA Sarandi (D 13), will join the Enterprise CSG for the COMPTUEX and part of the ensuing deployment.

"They bring a superb ship with a highly-trained crew to our Strike Group, including two helicopters with excellent over-the-horizon targeting capability, a significant surface gunnery suite, a fine air-defense ability, and the surface-to-surface punch of the Exocet missile," said Stavridis. "Perhaps most importantly, having a coalition partner working up and deploying with us also affords all of our U.S. ships the opportunity to interact with a partner at every level in training and work-ups, which makes us far better when we go forward and operate with other partners."

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