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Ike Returns to Persian Gulf to Support OIF, MSO

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070319-04
Release Date: 3/19/2007 11:20:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathaniel Moger, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, At Sea (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), flagship of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG), entered the Persian Gulf on March 15, accompanied by the guided-missile destroyer USS Anzio (CG 68).

Starting March 17, Ike and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 began conducting missions in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and maritime security operations (MSO) in the Gulf.

Providing support to U.S. and multinational ground forces in Iraq helps set the conditions for security and stability within the region and establishes an environment that allows the Iraqi people to have the opportunity to determine their own future.

Ike and CVW-7 squadrons are ready to take on the challenges OIF presents.

“The whole squadron work-up cycle prepares us for this,” said Command Master Chief (SW) Jon Echols, from the “Jolly Rogers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103. “They’re professionals and will keep the jets flying in whichever environment they work in.”

CVW-7 had been flying missions into Afghanistan since the beginning of February. From Feb. 17 to March 14, the air wing flew more than 4,000 hours and more than 1,400 sorties providing close-air power support and reconnaissance to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops.

The Ike CSG departed Naval Station Norfolk on Oct. 3, for a regularly scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations Oct. 30.

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