Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Arrives in Souda Bay, Crete

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (IKE), embarked staff from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) departed Souda Bay, Crete after a scheduled port visit, May 2, 2024.

The port visit to Souda Bay followed IKECSG's presence in the U.S. 5th Fleet, operating in support of freedom of navigation through Operation Prosperity Guardian and self-defensive strikes into Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

"We are incredibly grateful to Greece for hosting us during our very first port visit of the deployment," said Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, commander, CSG-2, IKECSG. "The Sailors of Carrier Strike Group Two have worked tirelessly for six months straight to keep us operating on station in the most challenging, dynamic combat environment the Navy has seen in decades. This port visit is well-deserved."

This port visit was the IKE's first stop since deploying to the U.S. Naval Forces Central (NAVCENT) and U.S. Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR) areas of operations. IKECSG units departed their homeports of Norfolk, Virginia, and Mayport, Florida, on Oct. 13 & 14 for a scheduled deployment.

During their time in Souda Bay, Sailors from the ships experienced Greek culture, explored the region, enjoyed local cuisine, and volunteered in the community to build regional relations.

"We are here to support our forward-deployed forces with everything from resupply and physical security, to a much-needed port call for our shipmates that have been out to sea and in harm's way," said Cmdr. James Kotora, executive officer, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay. "For the Mighty Ike, with their extension at sea, we want to make sure their time here in Souda Bay is relaxing and rejuvenating."

The IKECSG is operating in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations to deepen strategic relationships with allies and partners, and to support maritime security and stability.

The strike group is commanded by CSG-2 and comprised of flagship Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 with its nine squadrons, USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, with Gravely and the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87).

Squadrons of CVW-3 include the "Gunslingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, the "Fighting Swordsmen" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, the "Rampagers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83, the "Wildcats" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, the "Screwtops" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123, the "Zappers" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, the "Dusty Dogs" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7, the "Swamp Foxes" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 and the "Rawhides" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations

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