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NEWS | Sept. 26, 2022

Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet and STRIKFORNATO visits USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

By Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Riley, Carrier Strike Group 10 Public Affairs

 Vice Adm. Thomas E. Ishee, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet and Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), embarked the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) , Sept. 22.

Ishee visited the flagship and the supporting staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) while the strike group was underway in the Adriatic Sea.

"Your warfighting spirit shines through the material condition of this ship and the way I see your team operate together," said Ishee. “Our nation, the NATO alliance, and our others allies and partners around the world continue to rely on the high level warfare capability that George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group brings to maintain freedom of navigation in international waters, deter aggression, defend our nation, and the alliance, support our partners in Europe and Africa."

During the visit, Ishee hit the deckplates to meet the crew and recognize exceptional Sailors of GHWBCSG.

“You are making a worldwide impact. I am very proud of the operations conducted thus far,” said Ishee. “In the coming months, you will continue to work with our allies and partners in the region as we work to improve stability and security, while being prepared to fight tonight to defend our nation and Allies if called to do so.”

CSG-10, GHWBCSG, is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.

“Our team worked diligently to prepare for this deployment, and were fortunate to train with our NATO allies and friends aboard the Italian ship Caio Duilio during that time,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, CSG-10 , GHWBCSG. “The trust we built across our Strike Group, with our allies and partners both in training and now on deployment is our competitive edge. We are stronger when we work together, and we look forward to working with our Spanish and French allies aboard ESPS Juan Carlos I (L-61) and FS Charles de Gaulle.”

While in the NAVEUR-NAVAF area of operations, ships within CSG-10 have had port visits in Split, Croatia and Jijel, Algeria, increased interoperability with Italian ship ITS Caio Duilio, and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 participated in combined operations with Spain and Greece.

“As the flagship of CSG-10, Team Avenger – the warriors who are the leaders, teachers and ambassadors of our nation – are performing brilliantly with our partners and allies,” said Capt. David Pollard, commanding officer of George H.W. Bush. “They are representing our families, our communities, and our nation by exemplifying our namesake’s legacy of service, grit, humility, and resilience. It is a tremendous responsibility, and one we carry with great pride.”

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, GHWBCSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, CVW-7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).

The ships of DESRON 26 within CSG-10 are USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).

The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.

For over 80 years, NAVEUR-NAVAF has forged strategic relationships with 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.