US Navy Carrier Strike Group Deployment Schedules to Change
Focus on Defense:
NORFOLK, Va., Sept. 12, 2009 -- The Navy announced Sept. 11 the decision to shift near-term carrier strike group (CSG) deployment schedules to address a delay in the completion of USS Enterprise's (CVN 65) maintenance availability at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News.
Navy leaders have been closely monitoring the progress of Enterprise's maintenance availability and evaluating the upcoming carrier schedules in order to meet combatant commander requirements and minimize impacts to pre-deployment training cycles.
By extending the current USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and the upcoming USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) carrier strike group deployments to just under eight months each, the Navy will meet the near-term operational requirements generated by the Enterprise maintenance availability extension. The Navy remains committed to its general policy of maintaining deployment lengths to manage personnel tempo as essential components of force readiness. No new deployments result from this schedule change; all the affected carrier strike groups were scheduled to be deployed in 2010, the only changes are to the timing and lengths of those deployments.
"Adjusting these carrier deployment schedules was the best solution of available options," said Adm. J. C. Harvey Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. "We recognize this decision has operational and personnel impacts, such as training cycle changes and family uncertainty. Our Sailors and families also are ready to step up when necessary to meet the continued demands of a nation at war."
U.S. Fleet Forces and U.S. Pacific Fleet conducted a careful, in-depth analysis to ensure the Navy maintains continued support for the Maritime Strategy while minimizing the impact of schedule changes on crews and ships.
"We have been engaged in reducing the stress of lengthy deployments, and we remain committed to that goal for our Sailors and their families," said Adm. Robert F. Willard, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "I know changes in deployment length affect everyone. Part of our Sailors' readiness and well-being is knowing their families are being cared for regardless of deployment length. We will continue to invest in family support and readiness programs to try to reduce the stress of lengthy deployments -- we owe it to them, and I am committed to it."
(Report from a U.S. Navy news release.)
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