The Norfolk-based USS Dwight D. Eisenhower strike group started flight operations this week to support the continuing campaign against Islamic State remnants in Syria and Iraq.
Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 3, based at Naval Air Station Oceana, began flying March 31 in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve to demonstrate U.S. commitment to security in the region.
“We can provide a wide range of options to our nation and allies in deterring adversarial aggression and disruption of maritime security and regional stability,” said strike group commander, Rear Adm. Scott F. Robertson.
The strike group deployed five weeks ago, and operations so far included a joint exercise with the Royal Moroccan Navy and Air Force and with a multi-national group led by Romanian forces in the Black Sea.
It is operating in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Last week, task force spokesman, Col. Wayne Marotto, reported the latest operations against Islamic State holdouts in northern Iraq’s Makhmour Mountains included more than 300 airstrikes, which hit 120 hideouts and killed 27 terrorists.
In addition to the Eisenhower and Carrier Air Wing 3, the strike group includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey and the destroyers USS Mitscher, USS Laboon, USS Mahan and USS Thomas Hudner.
The air wing includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7; Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74; Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 123; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40.
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