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S P E C I A L: The Standoff with Iraq

14 U.S. warships in Persian Gulf region

USS Nimitz
USS Nimitz   
January 13, 1998
Web posted at: 11:22 p.m. EST (0422 GMT)

(CNN) -- About 23,200 U.S. troops are currently in the Persian Gulf region, according to official sources. This includes the crew of two aircraft carrier groups -- 14 ships -- sailing in the Gulf. Also, about 375 combat and support aircraft are in the region, including Turkey.

Those numbers include troops aboard ships and on dry land in the region in all branches of service. It also includes 5th Fleet Headquarters in Manama, Bahrain.

The two aircraft carriers currently in place will depart the Gulf for home port within the next two months. The U.S. will, however, maintain two carrier groups there for the foreseeable future.

USS Nimitz
USS George Washington   

The USS Stennis, the newest carrier in the fleet, will replace the USS George Washington when it leaves. And the USS Independence, the oldest carrier in the fleet, will replace the USS Nimitz.

The Independence is an "unscheduled deployment" out of Japan and has not yet received a deployment order.

The 14 Navy ships in the Gulf bring with them about 14,000 sailors and Marines. This includes five ships capable of launching cruise missiles at targets in Iraq. Of those, four are surface ships and one is a submarine. Additional Air Force aircraft can be moved to the Middle East in about 48 hours if needed.

Here is a list of the 14 ships in the Gulf:

Aircraft Carriers:

1) USS Nimitz (CVN-68); Homeport of Bremerton, Washington. Crew of 5,500. Total of 50 strike aircraft aboard (about 75 aircraft total).

Airwing:
F-14 Tomcats (14)
F/A-18s Hornets (24 Navy and 12 Marine)
E2C Hawkeyes (4) (small AWACS planes)
EA-6B Prowlers (4) (electronic warfare planes)
SH-60F helicopters (4)
HH-60H helicopters (2)
ES-3A Vikings (3) (elec/reconnaissance planes)
S-3B Vikings (8) (control aircraft)
C2-A "COD" (2) (transport)

2) USS George Washington (CVN-73); Homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. Crew of 5,500. Total of 50 strike aircraft aboard (about 75 aircraft total)

Airwing:
F-14 Tomcats (14)
F/A-18 Hornets (24 Navy and 12 Marine)
EA-6B Prowlers (4) (electronic warfare planes)
E-2C Hawkeyes (4) (small AWACS planes)
SH-60F helicopters (4)
HH-60H helicopters (4)
ES-3A Vikings (3) (elec/reconnaissance planes)
S-3B Vikings (8) (control aircraft)

Each carrier airwing typically carries more than 4.6 million pounds of air-launched missiles, laser-guided bombs, dumb bombs, Harpoon missiles, HARM missiles, Maverick missiles, Sidewinder missiles, Sparrow missiles, Walleye missiles, AMRAAM missiles, Shrike missiles, SLAM missiles, Phoenix missiles and 20mm Vulcan rounds.

Cruiser:

3) USS Normandy (CG-60); Homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. Command ship. Crew of 358. Cruise missile capable.

Destroyers:

4) USS Barry (DDG-52); Homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. Crew of 300. Cruise missile capable.

5) USS Carney (DDG-64); Homeport of Mayport, Florida. Crew of 300. Cruise missile capable.

6) USS Ingersoll (DD-990); Homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Crew of 339.

7) USS John Young (DD-973); Homeport of San Diego, California. Crew of 339. Cruise missile capable.

Guided Missile Frigates:

8) USS Reuben James (FFG-57); Homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Crew of 200.

9) USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58); Homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. Crew of 200.

10) USS Annapolis (SSN-760); Homeport of Groton, Connecticut. Crew of 133. Los Angeles class attack submarine. Cruise missile capable.

11) USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686); Homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. Crew of 107. Sturgeon Class sub. Special Operations platform.

Mine Countermeasures Ships:

12) USS Dextrous (MCM-3); No homeport. Crew of 81.

13) USS Ardent (MCM-12); No homeport. Crew of 81.

Fast Combat Support Ship:

14) USS Seattle (AOE-3); Homeport of Earle, New Jersey. Crew of 600.

Having just departed the Persian Gulf and in the Arabian Sea en route to the Pacific are the following ships: USS Lake Champlain; USS Port Royal; USS Kinkaid; USS Ford; USS Peleliu; USS Comstock; USS Juneau; USS Sacramento. These ships and their 5,645 crew members are technically still "in the region" as of Tuesday, but are not included in the above count because they are on their way out.

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