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NAVY WIRE SERVICE - A WIRE (NWSA) - 5 February 1998 -
NWSA5feb-1. USS Independence, escort ships arrive in
Arabian Gulf
by Dennis Everette, Editor Navy Wire Service
     WASHINGTON  (NWSA) -- USS Independence (CV 62),
USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and
USS Charlotte (SSN 766) arrived in the Arabian Gulf this
morning (Feb. 5).
     Carrier Air Wing 5 is embarked aboard the Navy's
most experienced aircraft carrier. Squadrons assigned to
the wing include: Fighter Squadron (VF) 154, Strike
Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 27, 192 and 195, Tactical
Electronics Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 136, Carrier Early
Warning Squadron (VAW) 115, Helicopter Squadron (HS) 14,
Sea Control Squadron (VS) 21, Fleet Air Reconnaissance
Squadron (VQ) 5 and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron
(VRC) 30.
     The air wing is the strike force of an aircraft
carrier. The ability of the air wing to project power
for several hundred miles enables an aircraft carrier
battle group to influence events ashore from the sea.
     Independence has been in the Arabian Gulf several
     In August 1990 with Carrier Air Wing 14 embarked,
Independence acted to deter Iraqi aggression during
Operation Desert Shield. It was the first carrier to
enter the Arabian Gulf since 1974. The ship remained on
station for more than 90 days and permanently
reestablished a U.S. Naval presence and provided ready
response capabilities in the region.
     The ship again deployed to the Arabian Gulf in mid-
1992 and started the Southern Watch operation, a multi-
national mission to monitor Iraqi compliance with the UN-
Established "no-fly zone" below the 32nd parallel.
     In August 1995, Independence and Carrier Air Wing 5
deployed to The Arabian Gulf for a third time in support
of Operation Southern Watch.
     On Jan. 23, 1998, the 39-year-old aircraft carrier
got underway from its forward base homeport of Yokosuka,
Japan, for the current Arabian Gulf assignment.

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