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Nimitz Strike Group Wraps up Hong Kong Visit

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070828-26
Release Date: 8/28/2007 4:39:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew J. Lanese, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Nimitz (CVN 68) departed Hong Kong Aug. 24 after a four-day port visit. The stop was the ship’s third port visit since departing its homeport of San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment April 2.

Nimitz, along with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, was joined by the five other ships in the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) - the guided-missile destroyers USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), USS Chafee (DDG 90), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS Higgins (DDG 76); and the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59).

The crew of more than 5,000 Sailors and Marines served as American ambassadors during their visit, participating in community relations projects, meeting local citizens, experiencing local customs and traditions and enjoying the many recreational activities offered in Hong Kong.

“The [community relations] projects were a great success for the volunteers and the organizations we assisted,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Bynum, a chaplain aboard Nimitz. “We had opportunities to do hundreds of hours of volunteer work that would have taken these sites days or weeks to accomplish.”

Commanded by Capt. Mike Manazir, Nimitz arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet (C5F) area of operations in May. While operating in C5F, CVW-11 flew more than 2,600 sorties and 7,332 hours in support of ground forces participating in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom before leaving the Persian Gulf in late July.

Nimitz and embarked CVW-11 are now operating as a part of the U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F). Operating in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, C7F is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets covering 52 million square miles, with approximately 50 ships, 120 aircraft and more than 22,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

CVW-11’s squadrons include “Tophatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, “Black Aces” of VFA-41, “Sunliners” of VFA-81, “Wallbangers” of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117, “Red Devils” of Marine Corps Strike Fighter Squadron 232, “Black Ravens” of Electronic Warfare Squadron 135, “Providers” of Carrier Logistics Support Squadron 30 and the “Indians” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6.

Commanded by Rear Adm. Terry Blake, the Nimitz CSG also includes embarked Destroyer Squadron 23; Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 “Scorpions,” HSL-37 “Easy Riders,” and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11, Det. 3.

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