Navnews 41/99 NNS4104. T.R., CVW EIGHT depart the Arabian Gulf NNS4105. C5F welcomes Connie Battle Group to the Gulf NNS4104. T.R., CVW EIGHT depart the Arabian Gulf by USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs ARABIAN GULF (NWS) -- After six weeks supporting Operation Southern Watch, USS Theodore Roosevelt and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) EIGHT departed the Arabian Gulf after being relieved by USS Constellation (CV 63) August 28. T.R., CVW EIGHT and the 4,800 crewmembers aboard departed Norfolk, Va., March 26. The aircraft carrier and the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group left for a routine six-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf. However, on April 6, T.R. was diverted to the Ionian Sea to participate in Operation Allied Force to support the NATO-led air campaign in Kosovo. During the 10-week campaign, over 3,000 combat sorties were launched from T.R. without a single loss of aircraft or personnel. Air Wing EIGHT aircraft expended more than 800 tons of ordnance during the conflict. This operation also marked the first time a U.S. carrier battle group was transferred to NATO operational control. The T.R. and CVW EIGHT team arrived in the Arabian Gulf on July 14 to support the coalition-enforced no- fly zone in Southern Iraq. Four days later, CVW EIGHT F/A-18 Hornets and F-14 Tomcats used precision-guided munitions to strike an Iraqi surface-to-air missile site. As T.R. and CVW EIGHT completed their time on station in the Arabian Gulf, more than 2,300 sorties had been flown and more than four million gallons of JP-5 fuel was burned. These sorties included eight separate combat strikes on Iraqi air defense sites, and more than 30 tons of ordnance expended in response to Iraqi aggression against coalition aircraft. These bombardments represent the first time in recent history that strikes from the same aircraft carrier have taken place in two theaters of operation within one deployment. Ships assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group include: USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71); USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55); USS Vella Gulf (CG 72); USS Albuquerque (SSN 706); USS Arctic (AOE 8); USS Boise (SSN 764); USS Ramage (DDG 61); USS Ross (DDG 71); USS Peterson (DD 969); USS Elrod (FFG 55); and USS Halyburton (FFG 40). Squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing EIGHT include: VF-14; VF-41; VFA-15; VFA-87; HS-3; VAQ-141; VS-24; VAW-124; and VRC-40. Links list: ; . -USN- -USN- -USN- NNS4105. C5F welcomes Connie Battle Group to the Gulf by JOSN A. R. Pree, USS Constellation Public Affairs ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- The 5,000-person crew of USS Constellation (CV 64) hosted their new boss, Vice Adm. Charles "Willy" Moore, Commander, U.S. Fifth Fleet, August 28, the same day the ship officially relieved USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in the Arabian Gulf. Vice Adm. Moore visited Connie for an overnight stay as the San Diego-based aircraft carrier transited the Strait of Hormuz. His 24 hours on board included briefs, tours and extensive talks with hundreds of Sailors and Marines. Moore began his visit with several briefings on new equipment and capabilities incorporated by the battle group and embarked Carrier Air Wing TWO to provide improved combat effectiveness. "I have never been more impressed with a carrier battle group's preparations for deployment to the Gulf," said Moore. "I recently received calls from CINCPACFLT (Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet) and COMNAVAIRPAC (Commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet) informing me that I had the Connie coming to me, and that I had the best in the fleet. That is something to be proud of." While walking around the ship, Moore focused his comments on the important deterrence mission of the Constellation Battle Group and the impact the U.S. Navy has in the Gulf region. "Your mission in this region is important to the United States of America and our allies worldwide," said Moore. "Our nation has vital interests in this part of the world which are critical for the survival of our country. We have to have access to the Arabian Gulf in order to get the precious oil reserves that are here. We need to have peace and stability here so that these energy reserves can flow in and out if necessary. You are here to maintain that stability. "You are the central players here in the Gulf," Moore continued. "The Connie Battle Group represents 60 to 70 percent of the strike assets Central Command has in this region. Thanks to you and all the battle groups who have served here before you, the Gulf region today is one of the most stable and peaceful areas in the world." The Constellation Battle Group will spend the next 10 weeks in the Arabian Gulf and will continue to conduct maritime interception operation (MIO) boardings as well as fly combat air patrols over Iraqi no-fly zones in support of Operation Southern Watch. Ships assigned to the Constellation Battle Group include: USS Constellation (CV 64); USS Chosin (CG 65); USS Lake Erie (CG 70); USS Kinkaid (DD 965); USS Benfold (DDG 65); USS Santa Fe (SSN 763); USS Olympia (SSN 717); USS Sacramento (AOE 1); USCGC Midgett (WHEC 726); Canadian frigate HMCS Regina (FFH 334). Squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing TWO include: VF-2; VFA-137; VFA-151; VMFA-323; VAQ-131; VAW-116; VS-38; HS-2 and VRC-30 Det III. Links list: ; . -USN- -USN- -USN-