After a Long Pacific Tour, the USS Carl Vinson Recharges in Guam

After a Long Pacific Tour, the USS Carl Vinson Recharges in Guam

The visist marked the first time a carrier with the advanced capabilities of the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II stealth fighter jet and U.S. Navy CMB-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft have visited Guam.

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), along with other ships assigned to the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group (CVCSG) arrived at Naval Base Guam last week for a scheduled port stop on Veterans Day. The carrier, as well as the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG-67) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106), were resupplied, conducted maintenance operations, and provided crew time for rest and relaxation.

It had been the carrier strike group's first port call since visiting Yokosuka, Japan in early September. It also marked the first time a carrier with the advanced capabilities of the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II stealth fighter jet and U.S. Navy CMB-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft have visited Guam.

Moreover, due to Covid-19 concerns during the visit to Yokosuka, this was the first time during the deployment that the crew of the carrier was authorized for off-base liberty.

"The men and women aboard our ship have worked diligently since we left home and their efforts have paid great dividends toward enhancing maritime security and regional stability in some of the most heavily navigated shipping lanes of the world," said Capt. P. Scott Miller, commanding officer of USS Carl Vinson. "We are grateful for a chance to enjoy the hospitality and beauty of Guam which has been a home away from home for many sailors throughout the years."

Back in Action

After what was hopefully a restful and productive weekend, the warships departed from the port visit on Tuesday, November 16.

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Since arriving in the Indo-Pacific, the carrier strike group has conducted operations with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Indian Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy, the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and the Royal Netherlands Navy.

In August 2020, Vinson completed a seventeen-month maintenance availability to receive major upgrades in order to support fifth-generation aircraft, making her the first U.S. Navy aircraft carrier equipped to support both the F-35C Lightning II and CMV-22B Osprey. Upgrades included enhanced jet blast deflectors able to take the increased heat generated by the F-35C as well as the addition of the Autonomic Logistics Information System, which is the new computer network that supports the unique maintenance and tactical operations functions of the advanced aircraft.

In addition to the F-35, other components of the carrier's air wing include three U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadrons equipped with Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet, one Electronic Attack Squadron that operates the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, one Airborne Command & Control Squadron that operates the E-2D Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft, one Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron and one Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.