Archives for category: DESRON 21


By USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea — USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), Sept. 15.

JCSCSG will be joining USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group, already in the 5th Fleet AOR. An overlap of carrier deployments provides additional naval and air capabilities to conduct maritime security operations and theater security cooperation engagements, as well as provide support to operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.

“Our strike group has trained countless hours to ensure our Sailors are ready to conduct operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility,” said Rear Adm. Craig Faller, commander, JCSCSG. “We look forward to building upon and strengthening our ties with allies and coalition partners in the region while supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

John C. Stennis departed its homeport of Bremerton, Wash., July 25, sailing south to embark Carrier Air Wing 9 and Destroyer Squadron 21 staff. JCSCSG departed San Diego with the balance of the strike group transiting across the Pacific Ocean and engaged in theater security cooperation in the western Pacific Ocean and South China Sea before continuing on to 5th Fleet.

JCSCSG includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). The embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 includes Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 14, (VFA) 41, (VFA) 97, (VFA) 192; Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112; Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 133; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8; Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71; and Carrier Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30. More than 6,000 Sailors are assigned to JCSCSG.


JCS Public Affairs

High winds and seas led the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) to cancel the scheduled port visit in Manila.

“We regret not being able to visit our long standing partners, families and friends, but the weather just didn’t cooperate. We agreed with the advice from the Filipino Coast Guard that conditions were too dangerous,” said USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Commanding Officer, Capt. Ronald Reis.

Stennis was originally scheduled to arrive in Manila Saturday but had to reschedule to Sunday in hopes that weather would improve. As Typhoon Mina lingered over the Philippines the visit was officially cancelled.

“We have a long standing alliance with the Philippines and we looked forward to our visit but safety is always a priority for us,” said Commander, JCSCSG Rear Adm. Craig Faller.

The JCSCSG is comprised of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21, which includes guided-missile destroyers, USS Pinckney (DDG 91); USS Kidd (DDG 100); USS Dewey (DDG 105); and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).

The embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 on board John C. Stennis includes Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 14, (VFA) 41, (VFA) 97, (VFA) 192; Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8; Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71; and Carrier Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30.

JCSCSG will continue on its scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, which includes the western Pacific Ocean and Arabian Gulf. John C. Stennis’ last deployment to 7th Fleet was in 2009.


Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Carla Ocampo
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin Crossley

USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) completed a successful Joint Task Force Training Exercise (JTFEX) June 8 off the coast of Southern California.

“Our crew could not have performed better,” said John C. Stennis Commanding Officer Capt. Ron Reis. “It was through top down bottom up leadership intertwined with a collective sea warrior spirit that we consistently perform at such a high level. Sailors aboard Stennis are trained and ready to meet national tasking. Teamwork, superior skills and warfighting ethos will enable us to successfully meet any challenge we may confront during deployment.”

JTFEX is the second major training evolution for Stennis following Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) in May.

JCSCSG is made up of John C. Stennis, CVW-9 (Carrier Air Wing 9), guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and DESRON 21; guided missile destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Dewey (DDG 105), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Pinckney (DD G91).

JTFEX was a week-long exercise designed to test JCSCSG’s ability to operate in a hostile environment.

Throughout JTFEX, JCSCSG dealt with an assortment of simulated attacks, such as torpedoes and missile attacks from enemy aircraft and ships. General quarters was called depending on the response needed.

“The idea of JTFEX is to stress the importance of procedures and planned responses to certain threats and get into a tactical mind-set,” said Lt. Ji Theriot, one of Stennis’ tactical action officers.

JTFEX tested the capability of JCSCG to operate with multinational forces and other military branches in a joint environment to combat the simulated threats.

“The scenario was started where we left off during COMPTUEX,” said Operations Specialist Master Chief (SW/AW) Brian Basset, operations department leading chief petty officer. “We continued to focus on our role in a joint environment while conducting sea combat operations.”

The constant flux of drills kept Sailors directly involved on alert and busy throughout the six- day exercise.

“JTFEX was packed with action, we were constantly moving,” said Theriot. “Problems operated around the clock, which was more realistic than the previous exercise.”

JTFEX was the final test JCSCSG had to demonstrate they can act and react as a cohesive fighting unit.

“We are ready for anything, but we need to continue to do better at everything we do,” said Stennis’ Executive Officer Capt. Michael Wettlaufer. “Continuous training is required to maintain readiness throughout deployment in order to be ready to do the nation’s bidding.”

With JTFEX complete, JCSCSG is ready for the upcoming deployment to the Western Pacific and Central Command areas of operation to conduct maritime security operations.

“JCS Strike Group Sailors have performed exceedingly well during JTFEX. I am extremely proud of everyone’s efforts as we faced a complex battle problem; without a doubt the most challenging scenario presented to any Carrier Strike Group,” said Commander, John C. Stennis Strike Group Rear Adm. Craig Faller. “These events put us through our paces in a short period of time. In the end we proved that we are combat ready, prepared to take the fight to the enemy, and assist those in need across the globe. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for the focused efforts of all hands and solid deckplate leadership.”

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lauryn Cooper
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Carla Ocampo

Destroyer Squadron 21 (DESRON 21), is embarked aboard Stennis and has played an active role in the Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and the Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX). Currently, DESRON 21 is training to protect John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG).

DESRON 21 is the immediate superior in command for escort destroyers. DESRON 21 is made up of four destroyers; USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Dewey (DDG 105) and USS Wayne E. Meyer. This command ensures training, manning and tasking readiness for JCSCSG, in addition to protecting and defending the strike group at sea.

“Training is important to make sure in a wartime situation the destroyers or any other ships that are in our DESRON have control and are proficient at killing enemy targets,” said Yeoman First Class (SW) Jodi Salazar. “We control the destroyers, so without us, there would be no one to protect the carrier.”

JTFEX tested DESRON 21 on their ability to perform strike warfare and anti-submarine warfare in a joint forces environment.

“Every theatre has a different combination of threats, whether that is surface or subsurface,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Smidt, DESRON 21’s staff director. “We train to repair, defend and carry out operations for the strike group from a variety of threats.”

DESRON 21 is training to establish sea control and to gain freedom of operations in preparation for the upcoming deployment to 7th and 5th Fleet.

“During operations in 5th Fleet, we’ll be supervising and managing a lot of the maritime support operations that are going on. We help with anti-piracy operations, when visiting other ships and maritime infrastructure protection,” said Smidt. “In 7th fleet we’ll be supporting exercises and conducting port visits on behalf of 7th fleet.”

Together, Stennis and DESRON 21 ensure fleet readiness and support the Navy’s maritime strategy.

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