Carrier Air Wing Five

Carrier Air Wing Five

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Carrier Air Wing Five

caption= CVW-5 Insignia
dates= 15 February 1943 - Present
country= United States
branch= US Navy
type= Carrier Air Wing
command_structure= United States Pacific Fleet
garrison= Naval Air Facility Atsugi
USS George Washington (CVN-73)
battles= Korean War
Operation Desert Shield
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Southern Watch

Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5), is a United States Navy aircraft carrier air wing based at Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan. The air wing is attached to the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73). []


To conduct carrier air warfare operations and assist in the planning, control, coordination and integration of seven air wing squadrons in support of carrier air warfare including; Interception and destruction of enemy aircraft and missiles in all-weather conditions to establish and maintain local air superiority. All-weather offensive air-to-surface attacks, Detection, localization, and destruction of enemy ships and submarines to establish and maintain local sea control. Aerial photographic, sighting, and electronic intelligence for naval and joint operations. Airborne early warning service to fleet forces and shore warning nets. Airborne electronic countermeasures. In-flight refueling operations to extend the range and the endurance of air wing aircraft and Search and rescue operations.cite web
title = Carrier Air Wing Five History
work = CVW-5
publisher = US Navy
url =
accessdate = 2006-12-30

Subordinate units

See also: List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons.

CVW-5 consists of 9 Squadronscite web
title = Carrier Air Wing Composition
work = US Navy
publisher = Tailhook Association
url =
accessdate = 2006-12-30

*Strike Fighter Squadron 27
*Strike Fighter Squadron 102
*Strike Fighter Squadron 192
*Strike Fighter Squadron 195
*Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 115
*Carrier Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 136
*Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Det. 5
*Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 14
*Light Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 51 Det. 3


Korean War

Carrier Air Wing Five has a long and rich heritage in Naval Aviation. Originally commissioned as Carrier Air Group FIVE (CVG-5) in 1943, the new air group rapidly became embroiled in the war in the Pacific. Homeported in San Diego, California, after the war, Air Group Five quickly recorded a number of firsts, including the first squadron to land a jet aircraft aboard a carrier(1948).

CVG-5 was the first air group to enter the Korean War, and after serving 18 months in the combat zone, had compiled more combat time than any other air group in the Korean War. CVG-5 was renamed CVW-5 in 1963 when the Navy reclassified its air groups.

Gulf of Tonkin

In 1964, CVW-5 was called to action in the Gulf of Tonkin for a total of eight combat cruises.

In 1973, CVW-5 embarked on USS Midway (CVA-41) to become part of the first carrier/air wing team permanently forward deployed overseas. CVW-5 completed 111 continuous day on station in the North Arabian Sea in 1984, guarding the Straits of Hormuz and guaranteeing th continued flow of vital oil to Japan and Western Europe.

Gulf War

CVW-5 began its final cruise aboard the Midway in October 1990 as part of Operation Desert Shield. From November to January 1991, the air wing participated in numerous multinational exercises and operated continuously in the Persian Gulf. On 17 January 1991, Operation Desert Storm began as CVW-5 aircraft launched a night strike deep into Iraq. For the next 43 days the air wing flew 3,383 combat sorties and expended more than four million pounds of ordnance. CVW-5 and Midway contributed significantly to the liberation of Kuwait and the minimization of allied casualties.

In August 1991, the USS Independence (CV-62) replaced the Midway. Also, in 1991, in consideration of the surrounding communities the field carrier landing practices, known in Japan as NLP’s, was moved to the island of Iwo Jima, convert|650|mi|km|-1 away as an interim measure until another landing field could be situated within convert|100|nmi|km|-2 of the base.

USS Independence (CV 62) deployed to the Persian Gulf in mid-1992 and started the Southern Watch operation, a multi-national mission to monitor Iraqi compliance with the "no-fly zone" below the 32nd parallel. In August 1995, Independence and Carrier Air Wing 5 deployed to The Persian Gulf for a third time in support of Operation Southern Watch.

In July 1998, CVW-5 moved again, to USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63). The Kitty Hawk left its berth at Fleet Activities Yokosuka in early April 2000 to begin a routine deployment to the Western Pacific. The carrier had spent the previous five weeks in Yokosuka following a 12-day sea trial in February and March. America’s only permanently forward deployed aircraft carrier first journeyed to Guam to rendezvous with the air wing, which was participating in the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program at Andersen Air Force Base until 18 April 2000. In addition to Guam, the ship made port calls throughout the Western Pacific and participated in Exercise Cobra Gold with the military forces of the Republic of Thailand.

Afghanistan and Iraq

The Kitty Hawk/CVW-5 team got under way 1 October 2001 with a mere 24-hour turnaround, after an accelerated sea trials and carrier qualifications period, carried out on short notice following the events of Sept. 11. The Air Wing contingent included eight F/A-18 Hornets with pilots and aircraft from VFA-192, VFA-27 and VFA-195, three S-3 Vikings from VS-21, and two SH-60 Seahawks from HS-14. The initial plan for CVW-5 was to provide air defense during the Kitty Hawk’s transit to station. The Air Wing was able to work around the Special Operations mission, however, and established a more offensive mission for themselves. Air Wing aviators flew 600 missions over Afghanistan in support of the United States’ War on Terrorism, including more than 100 combat sorties during this at sea period.

At the same time, two C-2A Greyhounds from VRC-30 Detachment 5 were shore based out of Bahrain providing logistical support to all four carriers on station, the Kitty Hawk, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), and the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). The Providers from VRC-30’s Detachment 5 were the only C-2A squadron in the region qualified for night operations. The Providers lived up to their name, supplying the four carrier battle groups with 1500 passengers and 350,000 pounds of cargo.

From 30 October through 16 November 2001, the strike element of the Air Wing participated in a weapons training detachment at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. The Air Wing completed 50 sorties per day for the entire three-week period with a 98% sortie completion rate. In all there were 640 sorties flown for a total of 1040 flight hours and over 250 tons of ordnance dropped. In spite of this rigorous training schedule, there were no mishaps or incidents of foreign object damage (FOD), and no liberty incidents. All this was done despite being uncoupled from the Air Wing’s maintenance support, housed on the Kitty Hawk.

In 2003, the final cruise with the F-14A Tomcat. CVW-5 deployed to the Persian Gulf and supported Operation Iraqi Freedom flying from the USS Kitty Hawk. VF-154 Black Knights deployed several aircraft to Al Udeid in Qatar and supported Special Operations Forces in Iraq alongside the USAF and Royal Air Force aircraft deployed to that airbase. Later that year, VF-154 departed NAF Atsugi to transition to the F/A-18F Super Hornet, and VFA-27 transitioned to the F/A-18E Super Hornet while VFA-102 became part of CVW-5, flying the F/A-18F.


On 1 December 2005, the United States Navy announced that USS George Washington (CVN-73) will replace USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in 2008 as the forward-deployed carrier in Japan and it will also assume host carrier duties for forward deployed Carrier Air Wing 5. []

On 21 August 2008, USS George Washington (CVN-73) departed NAS North Island with CVW-5 embarked for the first time. The George Washington is expected to arrive in Japan sometime in September 2008. []

Current force

Fixed wing aircraft

* F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
* F/A-18 Hornet
* EA-6B Prowler
* E-2 Hawkeye
* C-2 Greyhound

Rotary wing aircraft

* SH-60F Seahawk
* HH-60H Seahawk

See also

List of United States Navy Carrier air wings


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