STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR –
The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG), embarked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), transited the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea as part of a regularly scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) area of operations, Aug. 25, 2022.
The strike group ships, squadrons, and staff departed from the United States earlier this month, aggregating as a strike group in the Atlantic Ocean before beginning the transit through the Strait of Gibraltar.
“We are here to provide the flexibility and combat power that only a U.S. Navy carrier strike group can provide combatant commanders,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, Carrier Strike Group 10. “The Sailors of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group are clear-eyed about our mission, ready to execute, and prepared to reassure our partners and allies while allowing our diplomats to negotiate from a position of strength, knowing the U.S. Navy is on station.”
While in the NAVEUR-NAVAF area of operations, GHWBCSG will work alongside allied and partner maritime forces, focusing on theater security cooperation efforts to further regional stability and demonstrate the strong maritime partnership between the U.S. and these allies and partners. This marks the first time that USS George H.W. Bush has operated in the region since its 2017 deployment, after which it entered an extensive maintenance period.
“The Avengers are warriors who are teachers, leaders, and ambassadors operating forward, representing the American people,” said Capt. David-Tavis Pollard, commanding officer of George H.W. Bush. “We will exemplify the principles of service, grit, humility, and resilience throughout our deployment and in our engagements throughout the region.”
Prior to deployment, GHWBCSG completed its final certification exercise with the Italian Navy destroyer ITS Caio Duilio (D 554) as part of the team. Later in the same exercise, the strike group came under the leadership of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) to flex command-and-control between U.S. and NATO chains-of-command, highlighting integration and interoperability between partners and allies.
Carrier strike groups are an inherently flexible naval force capable of deploying across combatant commands to meet emerging missions, deter and defend against potential adversaries, enhance security, reassure allies and partners, and guarantee the free flow of commerce in the region.
GHWBCSG is comprised of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 staff, George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 staff and units, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55). In total, the strike group is a force of more than 6,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe.
George H.W. Bush provides the national command authority flexible, tailorable warfighting capability as the flagship of a carrier strike group that maintains maritime stability and security to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
The ships of DESRON 26 within the GHWBCSG are USS Nitze (DDG 94) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103) homeported in Norfolk, Va., and USS Farragut (DDG 99) and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) homeported in Mayport, Fla.
The squadrons of Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW 7) embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Jolly Rogers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, the “Pukin’ Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, and the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 based in Norfolk, Va.; the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 and the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136 based in Lemoore, Calif.; the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140 based in Whidbey Island, Wash.; and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46 based in Mayport, Fla.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with our allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.
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