The aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower and its carrier strike group have started conducting flight operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
The Navy said Carrier Air Wing 3′s flight operations against the Islamic State commenced March 31 from the Mediterranean Sea, where the Navy has the capacity to support three different combatant commands.
“Our Strike Group is ready and capable of providing direct, long-range combat operational air support from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea,” said Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson, commander of Carrier Strike Group 2, in a Navy news release.
“CSG-2′s presence in U.S. Sixth Fleet shows the flexibility of our naval forces to conduct operations whenever and wherever necessary,” Robertson said. “We can provide a wide range of options to our nation and allies in deterring adversarial aggression and disruption of maritime security and regional stability.
Naval News reports that Eisenhower and its carrier strike group are expected to lead Task Force 50, which oversees Operation Inherent Resolve’s naval strike operations, later this month.
The French Embassy in the U.S. said this week that French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle would assume command of the task force from March 31 to April 24.
“While operating as CTF-50, Charles de Gaulle CSG will operate alongside regional and coalition partners and provide naval aviation support to Operation Inherent Resolve,” Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokesperson for the 5th Fleet, said in a statement. “We welcome France as the CTF-50 commander for a second time; the first in December 2015.”
Ike departed Norfolk in February for its second deployment in a year — months after returning from its 2020 deployment where the carrier completed 205 continuous days at sea due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those currently deployed with Ike’s carrier strike group include guided-missile cruiser Monterey, and guided-missile destroyers Mitscher, Laboon, Mahan and Thomas Hudner.