The US Navy (USN) will operate with nine carrier strike groups (CSGs) by the end of the year, reducing the effectiveness of the service's 11-carrier force.
The service plans to dissolve CSG Seven, previously attached to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), in reaction to a short-term reduction in carrier capability following the planned decommissioning of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in 2013 and before the first next-generation Gerald Ford-class carrier (CVN 78) commissions in 2015.
According to a 1 August memo from the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, a CSG will be relocated from Naval Station Everett, Washington, to Naval Station San Diego, California, to shore up the loss when CSG Seven stands down in December. CSG Nine from Everett will replace CSG Seven. CSG Nine is currently composed of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Carrier Air Wing Two and elements of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) Nine.
Next year Abraham Lincoln will begin its mid-life refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH), which will take four years to complete and keep the carrier out of the fleet for the duration of the repairs and refuelling.
Currently USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) is undergoing that process, which is expected to be completed by late 2012 or early 2013.