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USS John C. Stennis and Carrier Air Wing 9 Return to OEF Missions

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070405-21
Release Date: 4/5/2007 8:09:00 PM

From USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 returned to the north Arabian Sea on April 4, following its first port visit in the Middle East.

CVW 9 returned to conducting missions for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and will provide close air power support and reconnaissance to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops on the ground in Afghanistan participating in OEF. ISAF is comprised of more than 35,000 troops with contributions from 37 nations.

As a Combined Forces Air Component Command (CFACC) asset, CVW 9 integrates closely with multi-national coalition forces to prevent and counter Taliban attacks. Carrier aircraft provide close air power support and deliver ordnance on enemy positions designated by ground forces.

Stennis left its homeport of Bremerton, Wash., Jan. 16 for a regularly scheduled deployment and began operating with coalition forces in the region Feb. 19. After arriving, the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) began providing direct support to coalition ground forces participating in OEF, as well as conducting maritime security operations (MSO).

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

The CVW 9 squadrons include the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, “Blue Diamonds” of VFA 146, “Argonauts” of VFA 147, “Death Rattlers” of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron 323, “Yellowjackets” of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 138, “Golden Hawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 112, “Topcats” of Sea Control Squadron 31, “Eightballers” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 8 and “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30.

JCSSG includes John C. Stennis, CVW 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, USS Antietam (CG 54), the guided-missile destroyers USS O’Kane (DDG-77) and USS Preble (DDG 88) and the fast combat-support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10). More than 6,500 Sailors and Marines are assigned to JCSSG.

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