ARABIAN GULF, –
ARABIAN GULF (August 7, 2016) —
The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) hosted senior military officers from U.S. Central Command and component commands while operating in the Arabian Gulf, August 6.
Gen. Joseph Votel, commander, U.S. Central Command, was joined by the component commanders for the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps, the commander of Resolute Support and other senior officials from the region.
The visit provided the distinguished guests with a naval orientation that focused on carrier strike group (CSG) and naval aviation capabilities.
"This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the unique contribution the Ike-Battle Axe team is making to our national defense and to showcase the professionalism of our Sailors," said Capt. Paul C. Spedero Jr, Ike's commanding officer.
During the visit, Votel took the opportunity to meet with Sailors and expressed appreciation for their sacrifice away from their loved ones and their support to operations within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
The general and flag officers toured the aircraft carrier to experience a day at sea, observed flight operations during the day and night, and visited squadrons in ready rooms to learn more about their efforts in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
Since June 28, the Ike-Battle Axe team has conducted 348 sorties in support of OIR.
CVW-3, known as the Battle Axe, is embarked aboard Ike and includes strike fighter squadrons VFA 32 "Swordsmen," VFA 86 "Sidewinders," VFA 105 "Gunslingers," and VFA 131 "Wildcats;" tactical electronics warfare squadron VAQ 130 "Zappers;" carrier airborne early warning squadron VAW 123 "Screwtops;" Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 "Rawhides;" helicopter maritime strike squadron HSM 74 "Swamp Foxes;" and helicopter sea combat squadron HSC 7 "Dusty Dogs."
The IKECSG is the first CSG to deploy under the new optimized fleet response plan (OFRP), a cross-community collaboration effort to better prepare the Fleet in meeting combatant commander needs without straining the ships, planes and Sailors. It is also the centerpiece of the Great Green Fleet for the second half of 2016, an initiative that demonstrates efforts to transform energy use and highlight it as a strategic resource.
U.S. 5th Fleet is responsible for an area encompassing approximately 2.5 million square miles of water including the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.