USS Mahan (DDG 72), a ship of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKE CSG), returned to homeport in Naval Station Norfolk Aug 6., following a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of operation. During the deployment the crew participated in multinational operations and joint training exercises with international partners to foster positive relationships while encouraging freedom of navigation and maritime security.
Prior to getting underway for pre-deployment exercises and training, the crew participated in a 14-Day Restriction of Movement on December 28, 2020, in order to combat the effect of COVID-19 on the ship’s readiness. She officially deployed on Feb. 17, 2021.
“The crew of USS Mahan overcame every obstacle in their path to make this a successful deployment,” said Cmdr. Chris Cummins, commanding officer of USS Mahan. “Starting with pre-deployment sequester all the way through sustained operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Mahan performed superbly and the Sailors showed true grit and toughness. This deployment was remarkable in that the crew was able to develop a sustained pace of operations while finding ways to recharge without traditional liberty while in port. I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments of the Sailors onboard Mahan, they represent the finest that our nation has to offer.”
Throughout the deployment, Mahan made port calls to Rota, Spain; Souda Bay, Crete; Safaga, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; and Manama, Bahrain where the crew was restricted to the pier but became one of the first ships to enter into port Aqaba and Manama since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was nice to finally get out and apply the training that we received while prepping for deployment,” said Fire Controlman (AEGIS) 2nd Class Jake Schneider. “Being able to pull into different ports was a plus, although we didn’t get a chance to go out in town much due to COVID being able to have phone service and call family made the deployment a little easier.”
Mahan transited the Strait of Hormuz twice, the Suez Canal twice, the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb 18 times, and the Straits of Gibraltar twice.
Mahan sustained operations in the 5th Fleet area of operation from April 1 to July 15. While operating in this region she participated in Air Defense Operations with French Navy aircraft carrier, Charles De Gaulle, in addition to participating in integrated Air Defense exercise with the Air Force and Surface Defense operations with the Bahrain Naval Forces.
Mahan operated with the Egyptian Navy on two occasions for Joint Patrols and was the first ship to welcome Egypt into the CMFC (Combined Maritime Forces) partnership in the 5th Fleet region. Mahan participated in extensive operations in the Red Sea in order to re-establish continued presence and develop an air defense construct in an environment that is recognized as one of the most challenging areas in the world to operate the maritime air defense radars. The Mahan crew received high praise from Navy leadership for their forward leaning presence and proactive approach to Air Defense in the region.
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), and USS Laboon (DDG 58) returned to their homeport in Naval Station Norfolk earlier in July.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is a multiplatform team of ships, aircraft and more than 5,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe. The Navy provides a ready, flexible force capable of responding to a broad range of contingencies.
Ships of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), commanded by Capt. Paul F. Campagna; the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Monterey (CG 61), commanded by Capt. Joseph A. Baggett, and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), commanded by Capt. Michael P. Desmond; Destroyer Squadron 22, commanded by Capt. Scott A. Jones, ships include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mitscher (DDG 57), commanded by Cmdr. Thomas McCandless, USS Laboon (DDG 58), commanded by Cmdr. Charles Spivey, USS Mahan (DDG 72) commanded by Cmdr. Chris Cummins, and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), commanded by Cmdr. Bo Mancuso.
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, commanded by Capt. Marcos A. Jasso, embarked on Eisenhower include the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; “Screwtops” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”