The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 launched sorties in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) Dec. 7.
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel is the U.S. counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan. This element of the offensive campaign is focused on Helmand province and has specifically identified targets that aim to disrupt Taliban revenue generation at opium-processing facilities, as well as training camps and command and control (C2) nodes. U.S. airstrikes will maintain pressure on the Taliban through the winter.
“These airstrikes are part of the coalition effort to counter terrorism and enhance stability in the region,” said Rear Adm. Steve Koehler, commander of Carrier Strike Group 9. “The ability to support multiple operations simultaneously is a testament to the training, teamwork, flexibility and lethality inherent in the ships and Air Wing of the carrier strike group.”
At the same time, CVW-17 squadrons have launched nearly 100 sorties in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) since Dec. 1. In conjunction with partner nations, OIR concentrates on fighting ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria.
“It is unusual for an air wing to fly sorties on the same day in support of two different operations in different geographical locations,” said Capt. Chris Ford, commander of CVW-17. “The squadrons and air crew are able to do this dynamic combat support because they have maintained a high level of readiness, both in training and maintenance. Our priority is to have the aircraft and personnel to meet every mission tasking for U.S. and coalition forces in the region.”
CVW- 17 squadrons include the “Stingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113, the “Mighty Shrikes” of VFA 94, the “Redcocks” of VFA 22, the “Checkerboards” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 312, the “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, the “Sun Kings” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, the “Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 and the “Battlecats” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73.
The Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group’s deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supports Operation Inherent Resolve and signals the continued commitment to defeat and destroy ISIS. In addition to anti-ISIS missions, the strike group is conducting maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners, preserve freedom of navigation, and maintain the free flow of commerce.
Theodore Roosevelt left its homeport of San Diego Oct. 6, for a regularly-scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility. Roosevelt’s last deployment to 5th Fleet was in 2015 during the ship’s homeport shift from Norfolk, Virginia.
Commander, Carrier Strike Group 9