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NEWS | March 10, 2023

Top Gun: Maverick Star visits George H.W. Bush

By USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

Top Gun: Maverick producer and star Tom Cruise, writer and producer Christopher McQuarrie, and editor Eddie Hamilton, along with Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham departed the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) after completing a visit, March 3, 2023.

The team led a Top Gun: Maverick viewing in the ship’s hangar bay and took time to visit with Sailors aboard the ship during their visit. The ship and its crew has been deployed since departing Naval Station Norfolk on Aug. 10, 2022.

Throughout its deployment, the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has worked alongside NATO allies and partners to increase interchangeability and increased capacity for the Alliance.

“I know our Sailors will never forget that night in the hangar bay, and I am equally as certain that neither will Mr. Cruise,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. “The Sailors of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group represent what is best about America. Their commitment and courage is on display every day, and I know Tom and his entire team left with a fuller appreciation of the capabilities and power of U.S. Navy's carrier strike groups -- and the dedication and grit of our Sailors that make it all possible.”

Velez was not the only leader aboard the ship who recognized the impact the visit had on everyone aboard.

“While Top Gun will always be an American and Navy classic, Tom, Chris, Eddie, and their team outdid themselves with Top Gun: Maverick!” said Capt. Dave Pollard, the aircraft carrier’s commanding officer, himself a Top Gun graduate and instructor. “Every minute they spent with the crew of our mighty warship paid dividends toward our crew’s morale from the top-down. It buoys my spirits to know that the leading entertainers and filmmakers of our day not only conceptually know what we do, but they can relate to what our nation’s warriors do on a daily basis through their personal experiences aboard USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77).”

Paramount Pictures' Top Gun: Maverick earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound at the upcoming 95th Oscars on Mar. 12.

“This is my first deployment, and it’s difficult sometimes to be gone from home and family for such long time,” said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Olivia Morton, the ship’s Blue Jacket of the Year who was promoted meritoriously during the visit. “Spending time with my friends at the hangar bay event and getting a photo with all of the guests – especially Tom Cruise – was the highlight of a memorable deployment.”

George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and 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 the George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Knighthawks” 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 HSC-5, 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.

The George H.W. Bush CSG is on a scheduled deployment in the NAVEUR area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.