The U.S. Navy Nimitz Carrier Strike Group began air operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from the Arabian Gulf on Sept. 18.
The strike group’s Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 is providing close air support and defensive counter-air missions to the coalition fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Our support to Operation Inherent Resolve illustrates the critical airpower a carrier strike group can bring to the joint fight,” said Capt. Todd Cimicata, commander of CVW 17. “We are able to conduct training with regional partners and contingency missions unique to this area, showcasing the flexibility and capacity that carriers inherently bring to operations from the sea.”
The U.S. Navy has provided aviation support to OIR, through coordination with the U.S. Air Force’s Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC), since the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) was established in 2014.
The last aircraft carrier to provide direct support to OIR from the Arabian Gulf was the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in late 2019.
The NIMCSG, commanded by Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) July 24. Aircraft carriers and their embarked air wings provide naval and air capabilities to support operational requirements while meeting other security commitments in the region.
“The Sailors and Marines of the NIMCSG have worked hard the past two months here in 5th Fleet,” said Kirk.
Deployed ships and aircraft of the NIMCSG include flagship carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the nine squadrons and staff of CVW 17, staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).