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NEWS | March 22, 2023

ITS Virginio Fasan (F 591) Departs George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Rodgers

The Italian Navy Carlo Bergamini-class frigate ITS Virginio Fasan (F 591) detached from the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG), March 17, 2023, following integrated operations since March 3.

This marks the fifth time an Italian ship has joined the strike group since the start of its scheduled deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations demonstrating the versatility and interchangeability of the two NATO allies.

"Working with our allies in the Bush Carrier Strike Group displayed the breadth of our capabilities and the ease with which we can integrate into one warfighting team," said Italian Navy Cmdr. Fabio Casamassima, commanding officer of Fasan. "We look forward to future opportunities to train and operate together."

Casamassima also visited with Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet and Striking and Support Forces NATO, and Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, deputy commander, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), during a key leader engagement hosted by CSG-10 aboard George H.W. Bush on March 8.

“It has been our unique pleasure to work extensively with our Italian allies throughout our time in theater,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. “We‘ve built upon the already robust relationship between the U.S. and Italy to deliver interchangeability among the NATO alliance for security and prosperity.”

Fasan accompanied George H.W. Bush during its scheduled port visit in Souda Bay, Crete, further demonstrating the depth of the NATO alliance.

George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10. 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 the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), 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 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Knighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of 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, 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 EUCOM and U.S. Africa Command 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.