Aircraft Carriers

GEORGE H.W. BUSH CARRIER STRIKE GROUP POUNDS ISIL FROM MEDITERRANEAN

The precision strike operations being carried out by the Bush Carrier Strike Group in the eastern Mediterranean Sea continue to demonstrate the tremendous warfighting capability and flexibility of the U.S. Navy

Despite being plagued by lack of spare parts to fix their strike fighters and funds required to fully undertake their mission, U.S. Navy carrier strike groups are still able to demonstrate the mobility, flexibility and power projection capability of the service’s globally-deployed force anytime, anywhere.

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) in fact commenced strike missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) from the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Feb. 13.

The GHWBCSG operations in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in support of OIR demonstrate the capability of the U.S. Navy to conduct precision strikes on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets from multiple theaters, highlighting the flexibility of the Navy’s globally-deployed force.

“The precision strike operations being carried out by the Bush Carrier Strike Group in the eastern Mediterranean Sea continue to demonstrate the tremendous warfighting capability and flexibility of the U.S. Navy. By defeating violent extremists in Iraq and Syria, we are simultaneously supporting two separate geographic combatant commands. We remain committed to defeating Daesh, committed to our allies and partners, and committed to global security.” Vice Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet said.

“The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group brings a credible and mobile strike force that is trained and ready to operate and fight decisively from the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. The flexibility and lethality inherent to this strike group allows the theater commander to employ GHWB across a broad capabilities spectrum, from striking ISIL targets to reassuring allies and solidifying partnerships and ensuring freedom of maritime operations.” explained Rear Adm. Kenneth R. Whitesell, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2.

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group entered the Mediterranean Sea Feb. 2, and will continue to provide support to allies and partners, deter potential threats and conduct strikes against ISIL operators and infrastructure in support of OIR.

The GHWBCSG consists of flagship aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) with embarked staffs of CSG-2, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 and the squadrons of CVW-8; guided-missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Hue City (CG 66); and DESRON-22 guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103).

CVW 8 includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 “Fighting Black Lions”; VFA-31 “Tomcatters”; VFA-87 “Golden Warriors”; VFA-37 “Ragin Bulls”; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 “Lancers”; Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124 “Bear Aces”; Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron (HSM) 70 “Spartans”; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 “Tridents”; and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides”.

The most recent aircraft carrier strike group to operate in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations was the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG). The Ike CSG conducted strikes in from the eastern Mediterranean Sea in support of OIR Jun. 28-Jul. 7, 2016, and Dec. 6-12, 2016, completing 1,899 sorties in support of OIR.

Operation Inherent Resolve is the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S. and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to the region and the wider international community.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the “Black Lions” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 launches from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Source: GHWBCSG Conducts Strikes from Mediterranean, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs; Photo credit: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Gaines and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danny Ray Nunez Jr. / U.S. Navy

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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