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Stennis CSG Returns Home from Western Pacific Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS041025-05
Release Date: 10/25/2004 3:38:00 PM

From Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group (JCS CSG) will return from a deployment to the Western Pacific Nov. 1, after spending five months operating at sea in support of critical cooperative theater security commitments.

The carrier strike group consists of the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83), guided-missile frigate USS Ford (FFG 54), fast-attack submarine USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716) and the replenishment ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7).

The carrier strike group began its deployment May 24, and headed to the Gulf of Alaska to conduct exercise Northern Edge 2004, a joint exercise with the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps, followed by a goodwill port visit to Victoria, Canada.

JCS CSG continued on to Hawaii for the biannual Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) hosted by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. More than 40 ships, seven submarines, 100 aircraft and almost 18,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from seven nations conducted a myriad of naval air, surface and sub-surface exercises on the high seas.

Following RIMPAC, the JCS CSG and the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Carrier Strike Group rendezvoused near Japan to conduct joint air and sea training exercise (JASEX) supporting the Navywide Summer Pulse '04 exercise. The exercise demonstrated the Navy's new operational construct for deploying naval forces as part of the Fleet Response Plan (FRP).

Under FRP, the Navy maintains the ability to simultaneously deploy six CSGs in less than 30 days to support contingency operations around the world, and have two more CSGs ready to support or relieve elements of the initial responding forces within three months.

The strike group then made goodwill visits in Southern Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

Following departure from Port Klang, Malaysia, F/A-18C Hornets and F-14D Tomcats assigned to the strike group conducted aerial proficiency exercises with Soviet-designed MIG-29s from the Royal Malaysian Air Force over the South China Sea.

JCS CSG ships visited ports in Western Australia. Stennis, Ford, Lake Champlain and Rainier visited Fremantle, while Ford also made a port visit to Bunbury.

When the carrier strike group reaches Hawaii on the journey home, more than 2,000 family and friends will embark strike group ships for a Tiger Cruise from Pearl Harbor to homeports on the western coast of California.

The San Diego-based aircraft carrier is the center of the strike group and is the flagship for Rear Adm. Patrick Walsh, commander, Carrier Strike Group 7; Capt. John Christensen, commander, Destroyer Squadron 21; and Capt. Scott Craig, commander, Carrier Air Wing 14.

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