Here’s the latest carrier air wing update. Data is from the Sep 2014 issue of Proceedings and is current as of May 2014.
Here are the current air wings with data showing the number of combat aircraft (Hornets) followed by the number of supporting aircraft and helos (Hawkeyes –typically 4, Growlers – typically 5, and MH-60x – highly variable numbers) and, finally, the total air wing count.
Roosevelt) 44, 15, 59
CVW-2 (Reagan) 34, 24, 60
CVW-3 (Truman) 44, 28, 72
) 46, 25, 71 Washington
CVW-7 (Eisenhower) 44, 18, 62
CVW-8 (Bush) 44, 28, 72
CVW-9 (Stennis) 44, 29, 73
CVW-11 (Nimitz) 44, ?, ? (data incomplete)
CVW-17 (Vinson) 44, 27, 71
After a one year reprieve, CVW-14 has been slated for deactivation leaving the Navy with just 9 air wings. When the Ford joins the fleet, the Navy will have 11 carriers and 9 air wings. Allowing for one carrier always in long term maintenance/refueling, that still leaves one carrier without an air wing.
CVW-2 is listed as having only 34 Hornets. I don’t know if this is a case of a squadron being inadvertently left out of the listing or if its real.
Air wings also include a COD detachment during deployment but the aircraft are not considered part of the air wing.
Note the large variation in helos. The reason for this is unknown but several of the wings have an extra squadron of helos. If not for the extra squadron, the wings would total right around 60 as with CVW-1 and -7.
Note that the combat aircraft count includes the 4-6 Hornets that are always in use as tankers and, therefore, unavailable for combat, thereby reducing the combat aircraft count to around 38-40.