The US Navy’s oldest aircraft carrier – the mighty USS Nimitz (CVN-68) – is now engaged in counter-IS (Islamic State) missions.
Leading Carrier Strike Group 11 (CSG-11), the venerable warship has joined the US military’s ongoing Inherent Resolve campaign
Launched by the US Department of Defense in October 2014, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) was created to wipe out the insurgent organisation behind countless recent terror attacks. Almost three years on, Inherent Resolve’s participating assets have carried out some 23,000 strikes, comprising approximately 50,000 separate engagements.
The operation, according to US Navy officials, ‘defeats ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and sets conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability.’
Previous Inherent Resolve developments have included USAF F-22A Raptors being sent to Europe and a major UAE weapons sale.
Nimitz Inherent Resolve Missions
USS Nimitz Inherent Resolve missions got underway with Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet multirole fighters blasting off the carrier’s deck. Various other types, including early warning aircraft, followed them into action. "For the Nimitz Strike Group, today is game day”, said Rear Admiral Bill Byrne, CSG-11 commander. "When you hear the roar of the jets today it is for real. It's game on. Our pilots and aircrew are demonstrating our continued commitment to this region and all of our partner nations.
USS Nimitz Supercarrier
Launched on 13 May 1972, the USS Nimitz ‘Supercarrier’ was commissioned almost exactly three years later. 1,092 feet long, it’s 252 feet wide and as tall as a 23-storey building. Cruising at 30+ knots, it has a technically unlimited range, owing to its nuclear propulsion. Around 5,000 US Navy personnel are embarked at any one time.
“While it is the aircrews that will be on the very pointy end of our spear, the contribution of everyone is equally important to making this happen”, Rear Admiral Byrne added. “Every member of the crew has done their part to ensure we are ready to fight today.”
Carrier Strike Group 11
Carrier Strike Group 11 was formed on 1 October 2004. With the USS Nimitz at its head, the group’s been a part of numerous Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea deployments.
The latest tasking involves the targeting of key Iraqi and Syrian infrastructure. Additional roles include so-called ‘freedom of navigation’ missions.
US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet launch photo copyright US Navy - courtesy Wikimedia Commons