USS John C Stennis Embarks Carrier Air Wing 9 for Deployment
Focus on Defense:
USS JOHN C. STENNIS, BREMERTON, Pacific Ocean, Jan. 20, 2009 -- USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) departed Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., Jan. 17 to continue its Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployment after picking up Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 personnel and equipment.
The air wing Sailors added approximately 1,800 personnel to the approximately 3,000 Sailors already stationed aboard Stennis. Within 24 hours of the carrier's departure, approximately 70 aircraft landed aboard Stennis filling its hangar bays and flight deck.
Stennis and CVW 9 will join Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 to form the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) as they head west for deployment.
"The air wing's mission is to be ready to do anything at any time and to safely bring all of the air wing back," said Deputy Air Wing Commander Capt. Paul Haas.
The regularly scheduled deployment is part of the Navy's Fleet Response Plan (FRP), designed to allow the United States the ability to rapidly respond with flexible and sustainable force to any global commitment on short notice.
"Anytime we deploy, our primary mission is to standby and be ready to support the war on terror wherever that may be," said Stennis Commanding Officer Capt. Joseph Kuzmick.
JCSCSG plans to maintain the strike group's operational skill set and increase interoperability with partner nations through joint, multinational exercises.
"Any chance the air wing can get to train with forces they're not used to working with is great," said Stennis Strike Operations Officer Cmdr. Mitchel Kloewer. "It will better prepare them for deployment and make them more capable to counter a variety of threats."
Another goal of this deployment is to further relations with U.S. partners in the region.
Sailors from JCSCSG each play a role in diplomacy as they represent America through port visits and joint maritime security operations.
The deployment is scheduled to be approximately six months, and JCSCSG will be prepared to respond to the needs of any operational situation.
This deployment is part of America's maritime strategy under the FRP to maintain a force of combat power overseas, capable of protecting America's vital interests and insuring regional stability.
(Report by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Elliott J. Fabrizio, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs.)
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