Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group to Depart for Middle East on Monday in First NIFC-CA Deployment

The Navy’s most technologically capable carrier, cruiser and destroyer are shipping out for a Middle East deployment on Monday, according to a release from Fleet Forces Command.

The departure of Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (CSG) from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. and Naval Station Mayport, Fla. will mark the first deployment of a Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air—or NIFC-CA (pronounced: nif-kah) capable CSG.

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) and a squadron of Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye maritime surveillance aircraft form the backbone of the capability that creates a network of sensors and shooters the service promises to greatly extend the lethal range of the CSG.

The Navy declared an initial operational capability (IOC) for the E-2s late last year.

In addition to Normandy — the CSG also includes the Norfolk-based guided missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) and Mayport destroyer USS Farragut (DDG-99).

Roosevelt completed a $2.6 billion refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) last year and its crew and the sailors of the CSG have been conducting preparatory exercises since the start of this year.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS McFaul (DDG-74), right, USS Laboon (DDG-58), left and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) conduct a simulated strait transit exercise on Jan. 22, 2015. US Navy Photo

The following is the March 5, 2015 release from U.S. Fleet Forces Command

Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group to Depart for Deployment

NORFOLK, Va. – More than 6,000 Sailors serving aboard the five ships of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group are scheduled to depart their homeports of Norfolk, Virginia and Mayport, Florida Monday.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), commanded by Capt. Daniel Grieco, will depart Naval Station Norfolk along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), while the guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) will depart Naval Station Mayport.

Commanded by Rear Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, Carrier Strike Group 12 also includes Destroyer Squadron 2 and nine embarked aircraft squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 1: strike fighter squadrons VFA-11 “Red Rippers,” VMFA-251 “Thunderbolts,” VFA-136 “Knighthawks,” and VFA-211 “Checkmates;” electronic attack squadron VAQ-137 “Rooks;” carrier airborne early warning squadron VAW-125 “Tigertails;” fleet logistics support squadron VRC-40 “Rawhides;” helicopter maritime strike squadron HSM-46 “Grandmasters;” and helicopter sea combat squadron HS-11 “Dragonslayers.”

Theodore Roosevelt is departing from Norfolk to conduct a world deployment and return to her new homeport in San Diego. The aircraft carrier’s change in homeport is part of a three-carrier shift involving USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS George Washington (CVN 73).

While deployed, the strike group will serve in the 5th and 6th U.S. Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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