Friday, August 22, 2008

Global Naval Operations: Order of Battle

Blog note: This post substitutes for our usual weekend 5th Fleet Order of Battle.

With naval forces deployed in Georgia, the Persian Gulf, the Pacific, and South America, and with so much disinformation being put out on the internet regarding US Navy activities, we thought we would give a general update of global Navy operations. Forgive me if I don't cover your ship.

In South America the US Navy is currently involved in two operations. The first is PANAMAX 2008, an annual exercise that simulates the protection of the Panama canal against attack. Participating in PANAMAX 2008 is the USS Tarawa (LHA 1) , USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), USS Kauffman (FFG 59), USS Devastator (MCM 6), USS Chief (MCM 14), and the USCGC Harriet Lane (WMEC 903).

The second current operation in South America is Operation Continuing Promise involving the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3).

In the Pacific the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike group has departed Malaysia. If we were guessing we would say the Ronald Reagan CSG is on its way to the 5th Fleet to relieve the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group that has been operating there for the last four months. That is a guess, but the Lincoln CSG deployed in March and is rapidly approaching the end of its deployment, and will be heading back soon. With no US carrier currently deployed in the Atlantic the Reagan makes the most likely replacement in the 5th Fleet to support operations in both theaters of war. The Reagan CSG consists of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Decatur (DDG 73), USS Thach (FFG 43), and the USS Springfield (SSN 761).

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), USS Russell (DDG 59), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Momsen (DDG 92), and USS Curts (FFG 38).

The USS George Washington (CVN 73) has departed San Diego and is on its way to her new home port in Japan. This deployment would allow the Reagan to redeploy to the 5th Fleet.

The Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group is still in the 5th Fleet, but may soon be getting relieved by the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group. The Peleliu ESG deployed in early May, so they are only about half way through their deployment, but news today is that the Iwo Jima ESG will deploy next week. Given the time overlap, the Iwo Jima ESG may operate either in the Med or around Africa before relieving the Peleliu ESG, although that is purely speculation.

The Peleliu ESG consists of the USS Peleliu (LHA 5), USS Dubuque (LPD 8), USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), USS Cape St. George (CG 71), USS Benfold (DDG 65), and USS Halsey (DDG 97).

The Iwo Jima ESG consists of the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), and USS Ramage (DDG 61).

Already forward deployed in the 6th fleet, by now you are no doubt aware that the USS McFaul (DDG 74) and USCGC Dallas (WHBC 716) are in the Black Sea on a humanitarian deployment to Georgia.

Also deploying into the Black Sea is Standing NATO Maritime Group ONE consisting of the Spanish frigate SPS Juan de Borbon (F102), the Polish frigate ORP General K. Pulaski (272), the German frigate FGS Lubeck (F214), and the US frigate USS Nicholas (FFG 47). These ships will visit the ports of Constanza in Romania and Varna in Bulgaria in the west Black Sea where they will do exercises with both Navies. SNMG-1 is also scheduled to make port in ─░stanbul for training during its Black Sea tour. These ships are not expected to visit Georgia and these activities had been scheduled and approved with Turkey back in October of 2007.

USS Barry (DDG 52) deployed two weeks ago and will do a tour with Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO. It is worth noting that usually SNMG-1 operates in the northern Atlantic and SNMG-2 operates in the Mediterranean Sea, but with SNMG-1 in the Black Sea it is unclear where SNMG-1 will be operating.

Other naval news. INS Delhi (D61), INS Talwar (F40), INS Godavari (F20) and INS Aditya (A59) are currently deployed off east Africa and are expected to make port in Mombasa, Kenya followed by Darasalam, Nigeria and other ports including Madagascar. Some of these ships are expected to participate in Malabar 08 in October.

FGS Pegnitz (M1091) and FGS Laboe (M1097) and FGS Main (A515) have taken up UNIFIL duties off of Lebanon.

HMS Lancaster (F229) departed Portsmouth yesterday and will be replacing HMS Montrose (F236) currently operating in the Persian Gulf. HMS Portland (F79) is reportedly preparing for deployment, and is suspected of relieving HMS Kent (F78) currently on a Far East deployment.

HDMS Absalon (L16) has a port visit scheduled in Malta on August 26-28, after which she is expected to operate with Task Force 150. HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280) and HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) are operating in Task Force 150, while HMCS Ville de Quebec (FFH 332) is escorting ships for the World Food Program instead of participating with SNMG-1 in the Black Sea.

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