The Kitty Hawk Battle Group received
accolades from several commanders since departing the Arabian Gulf, including the Joint
Task Force commander in Southwest Asia and the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Battle Group
With the second deployment of a forward
deployed carrier within 12 months now complete, Vice Adm. Charles Moore, U.S. 5th Fleet
commander, sent a message to all Kitty Hawk crewmembers and its embarked air wing Sailors
for their performance in Operation Southern Watch.
"Congratulations to (everyone) of the
USS Kitty Hawk Battle Group for your exemplary performance and superb support as you
conclude an exceptional deployment to 5th Fleet. Due to your commitment, dedication,
combat readiness and hard work, your support of our national interests was second to none.
"The Navy and our nation are indebted
to you for the sacrifices all of you have made -- and those sacrifices were indeed
monumental. Your unscheduled deployment to the region certainly challenged each of
you personally, but to the rest of the world you made it appear it was business as usual.
You have clearly demonstrated the capability and readiness of a forward deployed
battle group to meet any tasking.
"Whether it was Operation Southern
Watch, maritime interception operations or exercises with our Gulf partners, you
consistently delivered phenomenal results.
"The demands of Operation Southern
Watch were met head-on and with the overshadowing Dont Tread On Me
spirit of the ship's crew and embarked Sailors. In just over three months, you
launched over 5,400 sorties, nearly 1,400 of them in the always challenging and ever
changing environment of Operation Southern Watch. In addition, your interaction with
our Gulf partners during various exercises enhanced and evolved our engagement strategy in
the region. Above all, you conducted all your operations safely.
"It has not been an easy deployment
for you, and the pace was made more grueling because port visits were practically
non-existent. I salute your selfless service. Whether going in harms way,
responding to short-notice tasking, or making guests feel welcomed, you exemplified our
ideals of service and upheld our core values -- honor, courage, and commitment. You
also sustained the tenet that ours is the best Navy in the world. Each of you can
take personal pride in knowing that you made a significant contribution to ensuring peace
and stability in this vital region. It has been an honor and a pleasure serving
beside the professionals of the USS Kitty Hawk Battle Group. As you steam to a
well-deserved reunion with family and friends, please take with you our best wishes and
sincere thanks for a job exceptionally well done," Moore wrote.
Kitty Hawk, Americas only
permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, operates from Yokosuka, Japan. Hawk
is scheduled to make port visits to Perth, Australia, and Phattaya, Thailand before
returning to Yokosuka on August 25.