Story by MC3 Dugan Flynn
Photo by MC2 Walter Wayman

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 embarked USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Thursday, in preparation for deployment.

CVW-9 will deploy with Stennis on the seven-month deployment to assist in the war efforts in Afghanistan and support regional stability in the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf.

Half of the squadrons in CVW-9 will be joining Stennis on deployment for the first time; the VAQ-133 Wizards flying the EA-6B Prowlers, VFA-192 Golden Dragons flying the F/A-18’s, the VFA-14 Tophatters and VFA-41 Black Aces flying the F/A- 18E/F Super Hornets.

“This is my first deployment and I’m excited about it,” said Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Patrick Christensen. “I’m really looking forward to seeing other cultures and the ways other people live.”

The mission of CVW-9 is to act as air power to eliminate enemy threats and provide support to both the strike group and American ground forces overseas.

“We will go out and accomplish whatever mission we are given from higher above,” said Senior Chief Aviation Electronics Technician (AW/ SW) Dietrich Ahner. “It’s about doing our part to support the global effort to combat the war on terrorism, support our national policies, and the projection of our forces afloat.”

CVW-9 will also be available to help with community relations projects and humanitarian efforts as they arise while in foreign ports.

“I plan to help out with a few community relations projects this deployment,” said Christensen. “It will be good to talk to people of other countries and experience their way of life for a little while.”

This deployment, Stennis and CVW- 9 will work together to maintain U.S. global presence and protect American interests around the world.