By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack

Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) returned to their homeport of Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Wash. May 3 after completing an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

While deployed, Stennis travelled more than 66,000 nautical miles while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, maritime security operations, theater security exercises, and participating in multiple community engagement events.

“It’s wonderful to be back home,” said Capt. Ron Reis, Stennis’ commanding officer. “A lot has been asked of these Sailors and their families but I am very proud of what they have accomplished. Our success throughout two back-to-back combat deployments is possible because every Sailor is dedicated to excellence and to our country.”

In the U.S. 5th Fleet, embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 flew more than 1,300 sorties in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom and 9,000 total sorties throughout 5th Fleet operations. Stennis Sailors also conducted community relations projects in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

While in 7th Fleet, Stennis conducted theater security cooperation exercises, participated in community service projects, and hosted military and civilian leaders from Malaysia and Thailand, as well as the Republics of Maldives, Indonesia and Singapore, highlighting U.S Navy aircraft carrier operations at sea and strengthening U.S. bonds with partner nations.

“It’s always an honor to engage with our partners in the region,” said Reis. “We set out to represent our country with honor and our Sailors did just that. We could not have had a more successful deployment.”

“I could not be more proud of the strike group Sailors and what they accomplished,” said Rear Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Carrier Strike Group 3. “Eight months ago, they answered our nation’s call to deploy, and successfully executed every mission asked of them. Our Navy very much appreciates the sacrifices that they and their families have made and I congratulate them all on a job well done.”

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG), consisting of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), has returned from an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

For more information on the JCSCSG visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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