USS NIMITZ, At Sea -- The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Destroyer Squadron 23, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations June 9. "I am proud of the Sailors and Marines of the strike group," said Rear Adm. Michael S. White, commander of CSG 11. "They have worked tirelessly to ensure that we arrive in theater ready to support ongoing operations. We look forward to working with our regional partners to demonstrate our commitment to security operations." While in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Nimitz Strike Group will conduct maritime security operations, which help set conditions for security and promote regional stability and global prosperity.
"We are eager to participate in fostering trust, cooperation and mutual respect with our partner nations while working together to increase stability in the area and ensure the vital sea lanes of this region remain free for all maritime traffic," said White. The squadrons of CVW-11 include the "Black Knights" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, the "Argonauts" of VFA-147, the "Blue Diamonds" of VFA-146, the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the "Gray Wolves" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, the "Wallbangers" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, the "Indians" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 and the "Wolf Pack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75.
U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet is headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, and is responsible for about 2.5 million square miles of water including the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. While operating in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Nimitz and CVW-11 will also conduct missions in direct support of troops participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.