The USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is scheduled to deploy tomorrow from its homeport of Bremerton, Washington. The aircraft carrier is on its way to the western Pacific Ocean and the Persian Gulf for a seven-month deployment. Her last voyage in the Western Pacific was in 2009. The Stennis is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 3, (CSG-3), and commands the group’s air wing Carrier Air Wing 9. CSG 3 also operates five surface combatants, including the CG-47 class missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) and the DESRON-21 squadron operating four DDG-51 type destroyers – USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108), USS Dewey (DDG-105), USS Kidd (DDG-100), and USS Milius (DDG-69) as well as the USS Jarrett (FFG-33) frigate.
The 97,000 ton Nimitz Class carrier is powered by two nuclear reactors accelerating the vessel to speeds up to 30 knots. The ship carries about 90 aircraft assigned to nine squadrons operating under ‘Carrier Air Wing 9’ (CAG-9). The wing operates four F/A-18C/D Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet squadrons, EA-6B electronic combat aircraft, E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning aircraft, C-2 Tracker transport planes and MH-60S/R Sea Hawk maritime helicopters.