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NEWS | Dec. 19, 2022

U.S. Sixth Fleet and Italian Leadership at Sea to Reinforce Strong Alliance

By Carrier Strike Group 10 Public Affairs

Italian civilian and military leadership embarked the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) with Vice Adm. Tom Ishee, commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe – Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) to strengthen U.S. and Italian relations, discuss further opportunities for integrated training and operations in support of maritime security, and to deter adversaries and defend the NATO alliance if called upon, Dec. 15.

“The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group has been working with the Italian Navy since they started training in 2021 for their deployment,” said Ishee. “The integration of ITS Caio Duilio, ITS Carabiniere, and ITS Andrea Doria into their team, as well as their work with ITS Cavour during recent multi-carrier operations highlights the importance and value of not just interoperability, but interchangeability, among NATO allies and partners.”

ITS Andrea Doria (D 553) is currently operating within the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group and is executing warfare commander duties as assigned.

“The U.S. Navy and Italian Navy have an incredibly strong relationship and partnership, and integrating into one another’s strike groups is a prime example of this,” said Italian Navy Vice Adm. Aurelio De Carolis, Commander in Chief, Naval Fleet. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with our American Allies.”

The strength of the U.S. and Italian relationship reflects the historically strong relationships between NATO allies, which has only grown stronger in recent months.

“Within our team, we frequently speak about the importance of gaining experience, perspective, and wisdom from our partners, as well as the importance of building genuine relationships,” said Rear Admiral Dennis Velez, commander, CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. “It’s clear to me that within our current operating area, there is a significant warfighting capability and capacity advantage that comes from the way we operate with our partners and allies by comparison to others operating independently. We demonstrated it during recent multi-carrier operations with the Italian carrier Cavour and the French carrier Charles de Gaulle recently in the Ionian Sea. In my 31 years in the Navy, I’ve never seen such tight, strong relationships among NATO partners at sea,” he continued.

George H.W. Bush recently completed a scheduled port call in the Naples and Campania region where they hosted local officials and key leaders for a reception to honor the U.S.-Italy relationship. CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG, is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.

George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. George H.W. Bush CSG is comprised of George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (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 the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers 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 “Jolly Rogers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (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.