Nimitz Strike Group ships set to depart Pacific Northwest on deployment
BREMERTON, Wash. USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Kidd (DDG 100), and USS Shoup (DDG 86) are scheduled to depart their homeports of Naval Station Kitsap-Bremerton and Naval Station Everett, respectively, June 1, for a regularly scheduled deployment.
Nimitz, the flagship of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Kidd and Shoup will make a brief stop at Naval Air Station North Island to meet up with the other ships and units of CSG 11.
Strike Group units have spent most of the past seven months underway preparing for deployment. Nimitz participated in a series of pre-deployment inspections and training evolutions, including Board of Inspection and Survey and a Composite Training Unit Exercise that certified them ready for deployment.
“I am so incredibly proud of the entire Nimitz team and the terrific coordination and support across the entire strike group, especially in such a condensed training cycle. The crew stepped up to the plate, and I’m confident we’re ready to meet whatever challenges lie ahead on our upcoming deployment,” said Capt. Kevin Lenox, Nimitz commanding officer.
Units embarked aboard Nimitz for deployment will be CSG 11 staff, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9.
Also embarked will be the squadrons of CVW-11: The Lemoore, California-based “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, “Black Knights” of VFA 154, “Blue Diamonds” of VFA 146, the San Diego-based “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the Whidbey Island, Washington-based “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, the Point Mugu, California-based “Blue Tails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, and the San Diego-based “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, “Wolfpack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 and “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30.
The ships of DESRON 9 include the Everett-based guided-missile destroyers USS Shoup (DDG 86) and USS Kidd (DDG 100), the San Diego-based Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Howard (DDG 83) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91), and the San Diego-based Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59).
The Nimitz Strike Group last deployed in 2013. Since then, Nimitz hosted the first aircraft carrier landings of the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in 2014 and completed a 20-month extended planned incremental availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, which completed in October 2016.
Nimitz Strike Group is part of U.S. 3rd Fleet, which leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. U.S. 3rd Fleet constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.