About Task Force 70 and Carrier Strike Group FIVE
Task Force 70 is the Battle Force for U.S. 7th Fleet. Commander, Task Force 70 (CTF 70) has operational control of all carrier strike groups and independently deployed cruisers, destroyers and frigates that deploy or transit through the 7th Fleet area of operations. The CTF 70 Commander, RDML Mark Montgomery, also serves as Commander, carrier Strike Group FIVE (CSG 5), centered on the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) and the embarked Carrier Air Wing FIVE (CVW-5).
CSG 5 includes the Aegis Cruisers USS SHILOH (CG 67), which also serves as the 7th Fleet Ballistic Missile Defense Commander, and USS ANTIETAM (CG 54) which serves as the Air Defense Commander for the strike group. Destroyer Squadron Fifteen (CDS-15) serves as the sea combat commander and is also responsible for the seven assigned Arleigh-Burke class destroyers, USS CURTIS WILBUR (DDG 54), USS JOHN S. MCCAIN (DDG 56), USS FITZGERALD (DDG 62), USS STETHEM (DDG 63), USS LASSEN (DDG 82), USS MCCAMPBELL (DDG 85) and USS MUSTIN (DDG 89).
GEORGE WASHINGTON and the nine surface combatant ships operate out of Yokosuka, Japan, while CVW-5 operates out of Atsugi, Japan, when not embarked on the GEORGE WASHINGTON.
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. CSG 5 forces have a higher operational tempo and are an average of 17 steaming days closer to locations in Asia than naval forces based in the continental United States.
About Forward Deployed Naval Forces
The United States of America is a nation with global interests. We conduct trade with other nations on an unmatched scale as the U.S. imports and exports hundreds of billions of dollars per year in goods and services. Perhaps due to our history as a nation of immigrants, we desire to foster democracy around the world. Those and other interests cannot be acted upon if we do not maintain a strong presence well forward of our borders.
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. That forward presence is maintained by the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) of the Navy-Marine Corps team. The concept of forward presence in the U.S. Navy has existed since 1907, when President Roosevelt's Great White Fleet of 16 battleships sailed over 40,000 miles, making twenty port calls on six continents. Today, FDNF operate out of bases and ports around the world, including the Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean, and the Western Pacific, home to the FIFTH, SIXTH, and SEVENTH Fleets, respectively.
Our presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region is more important than ever. U.S. naval forces help encourage dialogue, promote growth and ensure the free flow of trade, of which the oceans have increased importance. The Indo-Asia-Pacific region is one of the most dynamic areas of our rapidly-changing world, and our fleet must be maintained at a high state of operational, materiel and personnel readiness in order to be flexible and responsive to address a crisis situation requiring military support.
Forces continuously stationed forward (as FDNF forces are) provide increased operational responsiveness for a crisis, strengthening partnerships with our treaty bound allies and help shape the operational environment during steady state operations. These units are true "force multipliers" for the Pacific Fleet and 7th Fleet Commanders.