SAN DIEGO -- The John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) returned to San Diego Apr. 29, marking the end of a successful deployment for Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) to the U.S. Navy's 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR). While deployed, JCSSG conducted theater security operations with partner nations in the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command AOR while providing deterrence, promoting peace and security, preserving freedom of the seas and providing humanitarian assistance/disaster response.
JCSSG steamed more than 66,000 nautical miles, conducted 28 replenishments at sea and flew more than 10,000 sorties totaling 30,400 flight hours during their eight-month deployment. "We know we made a positive difference," said Capt. Dell Bull, commander of CVW-9. "We leave with our heads held high knowing that our fellow service men and women on the ground in Afghanistan depended on us and we never let them down. I could not be more proud of this air wing and the professionalism and dedication they've shown throughout our back-to-back deployments." Mobile Bay served as the air defense commander for Stennis during JCSSGs deployment where they supported maritime security operations and participated in theater security cooperation exercises.
"I am extremely proud of the collective accomplishments and sacrifices of this team and everything they have done from preparation through execution of their eight-month surge deployment," said Capt. Timothy Kott, the ship's commanding officer. "To a person, they have exhibited great resiliency, morale, and a selfless commitment to the success of each other. Equally important to the success of Mobile Bay are the amazing families and friends who have supported their Sailors through everything they have experienced in the past 14 months. This day, homecoming, truly belongs to them." The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis' (CVN 74) will stop in San Diego before returning to her homeport at Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Wash. USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group consists of USS John C. Stennis, CVW-9, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).
CVW 9 is based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., and leads nine squadrons: Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41 "Black Aces," VFA-14 "Tophatters," VFA-97 "Warhawks,"" VFA-192 "World Famous Golden Dragons," Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 "Wizards," Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112 "The Golden Hawks," Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 "Providers," Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 "Eightballers," and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 "Raptors." U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.