Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Arrives in 7th Fleet AOR
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis Alston 
WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN - The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, consisting of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), along with guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Dewey (DDG 105), and elements of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3 arrived in the U. S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Sept. 9.

Commanded by Rear Adm. Christopher Grady, the strike group will participate in routine scheduled exercises and engagements with coalition and regional partners while in 7th Fleet.  The planned exercises will demonstrate and test months of preparation and planning by the strike group team. 

“This strike group represents a flexible force, that is prepared to respond to a variety of crises–from humanitarian assistance to combat operations--at a moment’s notice,” said Grady. “We are looking forward to operating, and promoting peace and stability in this vast region.”

The 7th  Fleet AOR covers more than 48 million square miles (124 million square kilometers) and spans from west of the international dateline to the western coast of India. Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, Jr., Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, is responsible for more than 45,000 Sailors, 100 ships and submarines, and more than 200 aircraft in the largest naval area of responsibility.

CVW-17 consists of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, VFA 81, VFA 113, VFA 94, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 15, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30.

The more than 6,000 Sailors in the strike group left its homeport of San Diego, Calif., Aug. 22 for this deployment. This is Carl Vinson’s 15th deployment in the ship’s 32 year history. 

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