ARABIAN GULF, Nov. 26, 2019 — The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) began air operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), Nov. 22.
Close air support operations and defensive counter air support operations were carried out by Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW 7) as part of broader CENTCOM counter terrorism operations in the region.
“Today’s operations are a testament to how carrier air power can project well beyond the shore. It has tremendous reach,” said Capt. William R. Reed, commander CVW 7. “The carrier strike group as a whole provides a robust military capability in the region, and CVW 7 remains ready to deliver that capability at any time if called upon.”
The ABECSG transited through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Arabian Gulf on Nov. 19. ABECSG presence in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO), where it has operated since May, demonstrates the U.S. and its regional partners’ commitment to the free flow of commerce, regional maritime security and freedom of navigation.
“The Lincoln team is on station and supporting the combatant commander upon arrival due to the diligence and professionalism of our crew and strike group counterparts,” said Capt. Walt Slaughter, commanding officer of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), the flagship of ABESG. “As we navigate throughout the theatre, we will exercise our vast capabilities and interoperability with international partners, as a mobile and lethal force. We are the tip of the spear, and we will continue to work with our coalition allies to ensure regional security.”
The U.S. 5th Fleet AOO encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs, ships and aircraft of CSG 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and CVW 7.