Stennis' crew of 3,100 Sailors has spent much of the past year underway preparing for deployment. Stennis participated in a series of exercises including a Composite Training Unit Exercise and Joint Task Force Exercise that certified them ready for deployment.
"Deploying is the culmination of our training," said Capt. Mike Wettlaufer, Stennis' commanding officer. "This crew has attacked every challenge thrown their way, and as we leave to answer our nation's call, I couldn't be any prouder of them. We are ready." Stennis is the nuclear-powered flagship of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCS CSG), which will also deploy.
JCS CSG is the centerpiece of the Great Green Fleet, a year-long initiative highlighting the Navy's efforts to transform its energy use to increase operational capability. The strike group will use energy efficiency measures, to include technologies and operational procedures, and alternative fuel in the course of its normal operations.
Units embarked aboard Stennis will be JCS CSG staff, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, and Destroyer Squadron 21. Also embarked will be the squadrons of CVW-9: "Tophatters" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14, "Black Aces" of VFA-41, "Warhawks" of VFA-97, and "Vigilantes" of VFA-151 from Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California; "Wizards" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington; "Golden Hawks" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112 from NAS Point Mugu, California; "Chargers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14 "Raptors" of Helicopter Sea Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, and "Providers" Detachment 4 of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron (VRC) 30 from Naval Air Station North Island, California.
Guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) will join Stennis on this deployment.
Stennis last deployed on an unplanned, surge deployment from August 2012 to May 2013. She then entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton for a docking-planned incremental availability, which completed in November 2014.
The US Navy John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group maneuver their ships during a show of force transit off the coast of San Clemente Island near Southern California.