The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG) arrived in the Middle East as part of the increase in regional posture, Nov. 4.
The strike group is commanded by Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2 and comprised of flagship aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), guided-missile destroyers USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Gravely (DDG 107) of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 with its nine squadrons, and the Information Warfare Commander.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Philippine Sea, and Mason entered the Red Sea after transiting from the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal, Nov. 4. CSGs bring to the region additional aviation and naval assets, providing greater flexibility and maritime capability to U.S. 5th Fleet.
“The arrival of IKECSG to Middle East region displays our speed and agility to flex as our nation’s leaders determined a balance of maritime capability in support of national security priorities,” said Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, commander, CSG-2, IKECSG. “The strike group brings an unparalleled combat superiority to CENTCOM and we will be leveraging our presence in the theater to enhance regional security and operate alongside our allies and partners.”
Squadrons of CVW-3 include the “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, the “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83, the “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, the “Screwtops” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123, the “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, the “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7, the “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 and the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40.
IKECSG units departed their homeports of Norfolk, Virginia, and Mayport, Florida, on Oct. 13 & 14 for a scheduled deployment.
The U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses approximately 2.5 million square miles of water space and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, parts of the Indian Ocean and three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal and Strait of Bab al-Mandeb.