Carrier Strike Group - Typical CSG Composition

Typical CSG Composition

CSGs are not restricted to a specific composition and can be modified depending on expected threats, roles, or missions expected during a deployment, and one may be different from another. The Navy states that “there really is no real definition of a strike group. Strike groups are formed and disestablished on an as needed basis, and one may be different from another. However, they all are comprised of similar types of ships.” A U.S. Navy carrier strike group typically includes:

  • A supercarrier, which is the centerpiece of the strike group and also serves as the flagship for the CSG Commander and his/her staff. The carrier is commanded by aviation community captain.
  • A carrier air wing (CVW) typically consisting of up to nine squadrons. Carrier air wings are commanded by an aviation community captain (or occasionally a Marine colonel).
  • One to two Aegis guided missile cruisers (CG), of the Ticonderoga class—a multi-mission surface combatant, equipped with BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability, each commanded by a surface community captain.
  • A destroyer squadron (DESRON) commanded by a surface community captain (O-6) who commands the escort destroyers, with two to three guided missile destroyers (DDG), of the Arleigh Burke class—a multi-mission surface combatant, used primarily for anti-aircraft (AAW) and anti-submarine (ASW) warfare, but which also carries Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability. A destroyer is commanded by a surface community commander.
  • Up to two attack submarines, usually of the Los Angeles-class used to screen the strike group against hostile surface ships and submarines, but which also carry Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability.
  • A combined ammunition, oiler and supply ship (AOE/AOR), usually Supply-class (T-AOE); provides logistic support.

While the carrier strike group is the various components' operational superior, administratively the ships and the carrier air wing are assigned to different U.S. Navy type commands (TYCOMs). Aircraft carriers and Carrier Air Wings are under the administrative control of Commander, Naval Air Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet, or Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific. Escorts, including guided-missile cruisers and a CSG's destroyer squadron are under the administrative control of Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic or Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific.

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