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USS John C. Stennis Now Operating in the Persian Gulf

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070625-01
Release Date: 6/25/2007 10:54:00 AM

By Lt. Nathan Christensen, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 entered the Persian Gulf on June 22, escorted by the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54).

Aircraft from Stennis’ embarked air wing will provide direct support to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and conduct close air-power support, shows of force and reconnaissance missions for ground forces operating in Iraq.

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

Since arriving in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), CVW-9 has flown over 9,000 hours and has provided more than 65,000 pounds of ordnance in support of coalition forces operating on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan in approximately 200 engagements.

Stennis left its homeport of Bremerton, Wash., Jan. 16 for a regularly scheduled deployment and began operating with coalition forces in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO Feb. 19.

While operating in the region, the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) has provided support to coalition ground forces in Afghanistan and Iraq participating in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and OIF, as well as conducting maritime operations.

Maritime operations help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts in regional nations’ littoral waters. Coalition forces also conduct maritime operations under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region.

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

Stennis is the flagship for JCSCSG, which includes its embarked air wing, CVW-9, Destroyer Squadron 21, guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), guided-missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS O’Kane (DDG 77), and the fast combat support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10).

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