CORONADO, Calif. - The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 departed Naval Air Station North Island April 19 and will join up with San Diego-based guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment.
Nimitz left its homeport of Naval Station Everett, Wash., March 29 to join Princeton and CVW 11 for a Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) in preparation for their deployment. The Commander, U.S. Third Fleet-led exercise ensured the deployment readiness of key operational components of the strike group after a delay in deployment as a result of an emergent maintenance requirement.
"This fine warship and its outstanding crew will have the opportunity to sail to the Western Pacific and operate in support of our nation's ongoing efforts to ensure maritime security," said Capt. Jeff S. Ruth, Nimitz's commanding officer.
Prior to the maintenance period that led to the sustainment exercise, the CSG went through a series of exercises including a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) that certified them ready for deployment.
"This strike group is more than ready to perform this nation's mission," said Rear Adm. Michael S. White, CSG 11 commander. "They have excelled in a series of strenuous and dynamic exercises and training evolutions in the past year. I can't wait to see what they can do with this next task ahead of them."
During Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, the strike group demonstrated the Navy's efforts to reduce consumption of energy, decrease reliance on fossil fuels and significantly increase the use of alternative energy as part of the "Great Green Fleet".
"This ship has navigated successfully through a hectic and fluid schedule throughout 2012 and early 2013," said Ruth. "It is a testament of the flexibility, capability, and commitment of every Sailor on board."
Nimitz's last deployment was in 2009-2010 in support of the nation's Maritime Strategy. After returning from deployment, the ship entered a routine docking planned incremental availability.
U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.