The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the flagship of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG), entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), the U.S. Navy announced on July 24.
Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, include Nimitz, the nine squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, staffs of CSG 11 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).
Aircraft carriers and embarked air wings help ensure the U.S. military has naval and air capabilities to support operational requirements while meeting other security commitments in the region.
Since leaving homeport Apr. 27, Nimitz CSG has completed a composition training unit exercise, conducted dual-carrier operations with USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), made a successful Safe Haven port visit to Guam while observing strict COVID-19 restrictions and participated in cooperative exercises with the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean.
The 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three chokepoints, critical to the free flow of global commerce.