The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG), the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed integrated operations in the Arabian Sea, Dec. 15.
While steaming, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Essex (LHD 2) supported Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, providing armed support to deny terror safe haven in Afghanistan and enable the Afghan Security Forces to set conditions for a political solution.
"Integrated Carrier and Amphibious Ready Group operations demonstrate our unique capabilities and capacity to address diverse mission requirements,” said Rear Adm. Mike Wettlaufer, commander, Carrier Strike Group Three. “Our tightly coordinated maneuvers, Operation Freedom's Sentinel flight operations, logistics, and training in the North Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman demonstrate the Navy and Marine Corps team's ability to support Allies and partners, ensure the free flow of commerce in the global commons, counter malign actors, and generate combat power when and where required."
Along with demonstrating their unique and maneuverable combat power by highlighting their carrier air wing and air combat element supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel, the John C. Stennis and the Essex conducted a dynamic division tactics and had to opportunity to cross deck Sailors and Marines, allowing face-to-face discussions between nine departments with common missions and skillsets, and expanding capabilities through joined experiences between two different platforms.
“It was a great opportunity to see how our counterparts in the amphibious Navy conduct Signals Intelligence collection,” said Lt. Yolanda Gutierrez, John C. Stennis’ Cryptologic Warfare Officer. “We can use the knowledge they gained during their deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations and apply it to our own operations, strengthening our process and inputs to the Carrier Strike Group.”