News from the fleet

Posted by lex, on September 5, 2006

ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE — Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) One stationed aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) provided support to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops on the ground as part of Operation Medusa in Afghanistan that began Sept. 3.

In concert with coalition air forces, F-18C Hornets from the “Sidewinders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, based in Beaufort, S.C., conducted precision strikes on a known Taliban position near Kandahar.

The “Sidewinders” joined other coalition and Enterprise-based aircraft that have conducted strikes in southern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom while protecting ISAF ground troops. Other CVW-1 aircraft continue to fly command and control, surveillance and reconnaissance and aerial tanking missions.

“The Enterprise Strike Group team is prepared to effectively support ground forces in Operation Enduring Freedom by whatever means are possible,” said Capt. Mark Wralstad, commander, Carrier Air Wing One. “Our air power, combined with the effectiveness of the ground forces, is proving to be a substantial force.”

Recently, Taliban extremists operating in the vicinity of Kandahar have employed new, more aggressive tactics, including suicide bombings on unprotected civilian targets.  The air strikes underscore the success Enterprise-based aircraft have had working with ISAF troops on the ground since the strike group’s arrival in the theater Aug. 28.

“Enterprise Strike Group returned to this theater less than a week ago, but ready to accomplish any mission at any time,” said Rear Adm. Ray Spicer, commander, Enterprise Strike Group.  “Whether we are protecting coalition troops on the ground, conducting planned strikes on known terrorist sites or providing support for humanitarian relief operations, we will continue to do our part to help set the conditions for security and stability so the Afghan people have the opportunity to determine their own future.”

Since their arrival in the northern Arabian Sea, Enterprise-based aircraft have focused their efforts on protecting ISAF ground forces near Kandahar.

The Enterprise Strike Group is currently operating in the northern Arabian Sea in support of maritime security operations and Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

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