(NSA BAHRAIN) The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and the Essex Amphibious Ready
Group (ARG) commenced integrated operations in the Arabian Sea, Dec. 12.
While steaming, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Essex (LHD 2) are supporting Operation
Freedom’s Sentinel, providing armed support to deny terror safe haven in Afghanistan and enable the
Afghan Security Forces to set conditions for a political solution.
“Carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups are inherently flexible maneuver forces, and these
high-end integrated operations illustrate our commitment to the Central Region and demonstrate our
ability to deliver naval combat power at a time and place of our choosing,” said Vice Admiral Jim
Malloy, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet (C5F).
Along with demonstrating their unique and maneuverable combat power by highlighting their carrier
air wing and air combat element, the John C. Stennis and the Essex will conduct an in-flight refueling
of an F-35 Lightning II from an F/A-18F Super Hornet, and cross-deck training with various
departments to include deck, supply, intelligence, media, and medical.
For this operational period, the John C. Stennis CSG has USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air
Wing (CVW) 9, guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), guided missile destroyer USS
Decatur (DDG 73) and guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) participating. The Essex
ARG will have USS Essex (LHD 2) participating.
U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and
includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is
comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez
Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.