YOKOSUKA, Japan - Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 honored their 69th anniversary with a celebration in the flag mess aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) April 25.
"This is the beginning of a cycle to celebrate the historic series of battles that Carrier Division Five participated in 70 years ago," said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander of CSG 5.
"It is exciting to remind people of the history of the strike group. It allows our staff to better understand the roles they play today in this dynamic region, by reviewing the roles their predecessors played in executing the Navy's mission as a forward-deployed force," added Montgomery.
For a century and a half, the U.S. Navy has maintained a presence in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean to promote peace, regional cooperation and stability. Those and other interests cannot be acted upon if a strong presence forward is not maintained.
Forces continuously stationed forward provide increased operational responsiveness for crisis and strengthening partnerships with our treaty-bound allies and help shape the operational environment during the steady state operations. U.S. naval forces must be maintained at a high state of operational, material and personnel readiness in order to be flexible and responsive to address a crisis situation requiring military support.
CSG 5 was originally established April 25, 1944 by Rear Adm. Frank Wagner as Carrier Division 5 when he assumed command aboard USS Wasp (CV 18) and USS Hornet (CV 12) in Pearl Harbor. Under the command of Rear Adm. J.J. Clark, Carrier Division 5 conducted 14 months of sustained combat operations during World War II. Following World War Two, Carrier Division Five remained forward participating in the Korean and Vietnam Wars as Commander, Task Force (CTF) 77, mostly home-ported at Naval Air Station Cubi Point in the Philippines. Carrier Division 5 became Carrier Group 5 June 30, 1973 and embarked the first Yokosuka based aircraft carrier, USS MIDWAY (CV 41) in October 1973.
Currently, CSG 5 is embarked on George Washington and includes Carrier Air Wing 5, Aegis Cruisers USS Shiloh (CG 67) and USS Antietam (CG 54) and Destroyer Squadron 15. Together, these units form the U.S. Navy's only continuously forward deployed (and largest) carrier strike group and are critical combat elements of the U.S. 7th Fleet.