Carrier Strike Group - Composite Warfare Command Structure

Composite Warfare Command Structure

The Strike Group comprises several commands, all which reside under the authority of the Commander of the CSG (CCSG or COMCARSTRKGRU). The CCSG is typically a 1-star rear admiral (lower half), who often promotes to 2-stars while in the job. He is the Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) to the carrier, air wing, destroyer squadron, and cruiser commanding officers assigned to the strike group. As such, he is responsible for unit-level training, integrated training, and readiness for assigned ships and units, as well as maintaining administrative functions and material readiness tracking for ships and squadrons assigned to the group.

In battle, the CCSG is also known as the Composite Warfare Commander (CWC) who acts as the central command authority for the entire strike group. The CWC designates subordinate warfare commanders for various missions:

  • Strike Warfare (STWC). The Strike Warfare Commander is usually the air wing commander. He sets the general strike philosophy and employs air wing aircraft as well as strike group Tomahawk missiles.
  • Air Warfare (AWC). The commanding officer of one of the strike group cruisers is usually assigned as Air Warfare Commander. He is the only warfare commander not on the carrier, as the Combat Information Center (CIC) of AEGIS cruisers is specially designed for inner air battle functions.
  • Command & Control, Space and Electronic Warfare (C2W). The space and electronic warfare commander acts as principal advisor to CWC for use and counter-use of the electromagnetic spectrum by friendly and enemy forces. He promulgates force Emissions Control (EMCON) restrictions, monitors organic and non-organic intelligence and surveillance sensors and develops operational deception and counter-targeting plans as appropriate.
  • Surface Warfare (SUWC). The SUWC is responsible for surface surveillance coordination and war-at-sea.
  • Undersea Warfare (USWC).

SUWC and USWC responsibilities are often combined into Sea Combat Commander (SCC), usually delegated to the DESRON commander. He performs these duties from aboard the carrier due to its superior Command-Control-Communications-Computers and Intelligence (C4I) capabilities. Supporting the CWC and his warfare commanders are coordinators who manage force sensors and assets within the strike group.

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