USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Dec. 28, 2020

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Dec. 28, 2020, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Total U.S. Navy Battle […]

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These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Dec. 28, 2020, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Total U.S. Navy Battle Force:

297

Ships Underway

Deployed Ships Underway Non-deployed Ships Underway Total Ships Underway
49 1 50

Ships Deployed by Fleet

Fleet Forces 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total
0 6 4 21 16 51 98

In Japan

CMDCM(SW/AW) Randy Bell, USS America (LHA-6) command master chief, right, presents a wreath to Master Chief Petty Officer Tatayuki Ono, CMC of JS Ise (DDH 182), during a kadomatsu exchange between the ships on Dec. 23, 2020. Kadomatsu, or ‘gate pines,’ are a Japanese New Year tradition for good luck. US Navy Photo

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is in port in Yokosuka, Japan.

Reagan, which is the service’s forward-deployed carrier, pulled into its homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, on Nov. 14. Japan-based U.S. carriers typically make two shorter patrols every year, with a maintenance period in Yokosuka.

USS America (LHA-6) is in port in Sasebo, Japan.

In the Indian Ocean

Capt. Max Clark, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68), patches in a 1MC address from Vice President Mike Pence to sailors and Marines aboard Nimitz. US Navy Photo

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) are operating off the Horn of Africa, USNI News reported last week.

The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked is now in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The ARG includes amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8) and amphibious transport docks USS Somerset (LPD-25) and USS San Diego (LPD-22).

Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, consisting of USS Makin Island (LHD-8), USS Somerset (LPD-25), USS San Diego (LPD-22), and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit; and USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams (ESB-4) conduct maritime operations off the coast of Somalia under Joint Task Force – Quartz in support of Operation Octave Quartz (OOQ) Dec. 22, 2020. US Navy Photo

The 15th MEU consists of the Command Element; the Aviation Combat Element comprised of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced); the Ground Combat Element comprised of Battalion Landing Team 1/4; and the Logistics Combat Element comprised of Combat Logistics Battalion 15. Other units include Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49, Tactical Air Control Squadron 11, Beach Master Unit 1, and Fleet Surgical Team 1 from San Diego and Assault Craft Unit 5 from Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Arriving Dec. 21, both the Nimitz CSG and the Makin Island ARG are in place off the coast of Somalia providing operational and close air support to Joint Task Force – Quartz and Operation Octave Quartz. Octave Quartz is the U.S. mission to reposition 700 troops from Somalia to other parts of the region.

USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4) is participating in the operation. Commissioned on March 7, Williams is a Lewis B. Puller-class expeditionary mobile base and is based in Souda Bay in Crete.

Carrier Strike Group 11

Electronics Technician Seaman Chris Harrison (left), from Overton, Texas, and Electronics Technician Christopher Burton (right), from Aynor, S.C., troubleshoot a satellite dish aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on Dec. 15, 2020. US Navy Photo

San Diego-based CSG 11 commands the Nimitz CSG and is embarked on the carrier.

Aircraft carrier
USS Nimitz (CVN-68), homeported in Bremerton, Wash.

Carrier Air Wing 17

An F/A-18E Super Hornet, from the ‘Kestrels’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137, launches off of the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) to provide close-air support to Operation Octave Quartz on Dec. 28, 2020. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing 17, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., is embarked on Nimitz and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Redcocks” of VFA 22 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) F/A-18F Super Hornet – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Kestrels” of VFA137 F/A-18 E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Mighty Shrikes” of VFA 94 F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Death Rattlers” of VMFA-323 F/A-18C – from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar San Diego, Calif.
  • The “Cougars” of VAQ-139 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) EA-18G Growlers – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island – Wash.
  • The “Sun Kings” of VAW-116 –Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) E2C Hawkeye – from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) C-2 – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Screamin’ Indians” of HSC-6 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) MH-60S– from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Battlecats” of HSM-73 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) MH-60R – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.

Cruiser

Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Robert Mudolo, from Coram, N.Y., assigned to the ‘Battlecats’ of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73, prepares to give the pilots of an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter start up instructions during night flight operations on the flight deck of the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59) in the North Arabian Sea on Dec. 5. US Navy Photo

USS Princeton (CG-59), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Destroyer Squadron 9

Destroyer Squadron 9 is based at Naval Station Everett, Wash. The DESRON commodore and staff are embarked on Nimitz.

  • USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • USS Sterett (DDG-104), homeported in San Diego, Calif.
  • USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), homeported in Everett, Wash.

In the Persian Gulf

On Dec. 21, U.S. 5th Fleet announced that nuclear guided-missile submarine USS Georgia (SSBN-729) entered the Persian Gulf.

“SSGNs are one of the most versatile platforms in the fleet, equipped with superior communications capabilities and the ability to carry up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles. The platform can also be configured to host up to 66 Special Operations Forces,” reads the statement from U.S. 5th Fleet.

Announcing an SSGN operating in the Persian Gulf is a rare move for the service and this public disclosure is intended as a message both to Iran and U.S. regional allies, USNI News understands.

In the Eastern Pacific

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and the Arleigh-burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG-59) transit the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 18, 2020. US Navy Photo

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group completed its sustainment exercise (SUSTEX) and began a scheduled deployment Dec. 23. The strike group is headed west.

Carrier Strike Group 9
The San Diego-based CSG 9 commands the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and is embarked on the carrier.

Aircraft carrier
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Carrier Air Wing 11

Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Arattakhan Khammany, from Abbeville, La., conducts maintenance on an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the ‘The Wolf Pack’ of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on Dec. 18, 2020. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., is embarked aboard Theodore Roosevelt and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Tomcatters” of VFA-31 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) – from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87 from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Black Knights” of VFA-154 from Naval Air Station Lemoore – Calif.
  • The “Gray Wolves” of VAQ-142 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island – Wash.
  • The “Liberty Bells” of VAW-115 – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Eight Ballers” of HSC-8 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Wolf Pack” of HSM-75 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.

Cruiser

USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) anchors in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 20, 2020. US Navy Photo

  • USS Bunker Hill (CG-52), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Destroyer Squadron 23

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Andrew Hood, from Knoxville, Tenn., inspects the Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS) aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG-59) Dec. 21, 2020. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 23 is based in San Diego and is embarked on the carrier.

  • USS Russell (DDG-59), homeported in San Diego, Calif.
  • USS John Finn (DDG-113), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

In addition to these major formations, not shown are thousands of others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, Coast Guard cutters, EOD Mobile Units, and more serving throughout the globe.