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Value of a Carrier Strike Group

This is the sixth blog post written by Rear Admiral Craig Faller, Commander, Carrier Strike Group Three. John C. Stennis Strike Group is currently operating forward in the fifth fleet area of operations as part of a scheduled 7 month deployment. They are also our Navy Facebook Command of the Month. To visit them on Facebook go here: https://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

111008-N-VN693-229 ARABIAN GULF (Oct. 08, 2011) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert speaks to Sailors during an all-hands call aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Walter M. Wayman/Released)

Greetings from Fifth Fleet.   John C Stennis Strike Group was proud to host the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Greenert and Mrs. Greenert for a visit underway, doing what our Navy does best: operating combat ready ships and aircraft forward.  It struck me as we rapidly transitioned, in a matter of hours, from supporting Operation New Dawn in Iraq to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan that the value of a Carrier Strike Group to America’s security is incredibly important. ..priceless really.   So how do we describe that value?

First and foremost it begins with 6000 of America’s finest men and women – Sailors who are well trained, highly motivated and equipped with the best, most technologically advanced ships and aircraft in the world operating forward.   This makes THE JOHN C. STENNIS STRIKE GROUP A COMBAT-READY, WAR FIGHTING FORCE THAT IS POWERFUL, FLEXIBLE, MOBILE AND SUSTAINABLE.

A Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has ready combat capability to dominate the battle space whether it is fighting major wars or ensuring freedom of the seas through sea control.  A CSG employs the world’s most advanced ships, submarines, and aircraft to defeat any enemy in the air, on the water, under the water or in cyberspace while projecting decisive striking power inland from the sea.  Operating forward, away from U.S. shores and unencumbered by land bases, the U.S. Navy requires no permission slip.

A CSG has global reach and is capable of conducting large force strikes against multiple targets for days without replenishment.  It can launch precision weapons from carrier-based aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.  Hitting a car-sized target, day or night, from a thousand miles away is not fiction.  A CSG impacts regional balances of power in our favor with both adversaries and allies.

A CSG is configured to support a wide variety of missions, including: power projection in major war, ensuring freedom of the seas via sea control, deterrence of conflict, maritime security, anti-piracy operations, and humanitarian assistance.  Surface ships, submarines and aircraft can be augmented as needed.  The CSG is fully interoperable with other U.S. forces or allies and partners providing robust command, control and communications.

With sustained speeds of 30+ knots a CSG can be in range of potential conflict in the same day when operating from forward locations or about a week or so from the United States.  In times of crisis, speed gives U.S. leadership the option to employ continuous combat capability anywhere, anytime around the globe.   No other country can do this and no other service can provide an efficient, self contained, ready response force like the U.S. Navy.  We are the nation’s first responders from the sea.

11107-N-VN693-531 ARABIAN GULF (Oct. 08, 2011) Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert speaks with Commander, John C. Stennis Strike Group Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller on the flag bridge aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Walter M. Wayman/Released)

A CSG can be self-sustaining for weeks with onboard repair capability, ordnance, food, supplies and fuel.  Powered by proven “clean-green” nuclear reactors, an aircraft carrier can go 25 years without refueling.  Aircraft carriers are built to last 50 years with armor plating, protective systems, sensors, and advanced weapon systems to meet future threats.

Power and Influence
Our dominant power is not just kinetic: a CSG is a visible and powerful symbol of U.S. commitment and resolve.  It can lend assistance in the wake of natural disasters, train with partner nations, and demonstrate U.S. commitment with every overseas port visit.  During JCSSG’s recent port visit to Malaysia our presence resulted in “free” prime time TV, radio and print coverage that reached over 2 million Malaysians.  While visiting the JCSSG, Kazakhstan’s Chief of Naval Operations passionately stated: “Not just America, but the entire world sleeps soundly at night because the United States Navy stands watch around the world 24-7.”

Naval forces operating forward, unencumbered by borders, permanent basing rights or host nation political ideologies deter aggression, win wars, reassure friends and project U.S. influence.  The United States is a maritime nation bounded by two oceans, and as the world’s #1 power we need a dominant, combat-ready Navy.

What makes all this possible is our great Sailors and it’s the support, service and untiring sacrifice of their families that sustains us – thanks team.  Sleep well America…We are ready and we are operating safely and effectively forward.  America’s Navy is a true global force for good.

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