USS CARL VINSON (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Evan M. Chanik concluded a successful tour as commander, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Strike Group June 26, when he was officially relieved by Rear Adm. Bruce W. Clingan during a change of command ceremony held aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
As the two read their official orders, command authority, accountability and responsibility passed from one "tailhooker" to another.
"These are two great, world-class people, a great, world-class staff, [and] a wonderful event," said Vice Adm. Mike McCabe, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, the event's guest speaker.
Before rendering his final salute as Strike Group Commander, Chanik commented on the successes of the Carl Vinson Strike Group, and the Sailors and Marines whom he had the privilege to lead.
"It's been an absolutely wonderful, fast-moving tour," said Chanik. "It was very rewarding to make a significant contribution to the war on terrorism. The men and women of the Carl Vinson Strike Group were second to none. They provided a tremendous service to our country."
Chanik led the strike group through an eight-month western Pacific deployment that was unique from the very beginning. The strike group was the first to undergo a new, innovative Inter-Deployment Training Cycle (IDTC), which greatly compressed the training required for deployment.
"The compressed IDTC demonstrated that strike groups have the ability to rapidly accomplish all required training," said Chanik. "The Navy was able to incorporate many of our lessons learned into its new Fleet Response Plan (FRP)."
The FRP is designed to provide the President with a greater range of naval options. The intense training cycle allows the Navy the flexibility to simultaneously surge six carrier strike groups plus two additional strike groups that could deploy in 90 days.
Although the Carl Vinson Strike Group wasn't scheduled to deploy until August 2003, she was prepared to surge by November 2002. Departing Southern California waters in January 2003, the CSG headed for training in the Hawaiian operating area. Feb. 7, while operating off the coast of Hawaii, the strike group was ordered to deploy to the western Pacific.
"The strike group's ability to respond to short-order tasking was phenomenal," said Chanik. "We went out on deployment and were ready to respond in any manner required - from presence operations, to engagement with other nations, to combat operations. We had a very successful deployment, because we met all the requirements set before us."
Immediately following its return, the strike group became U.S. Pacific Fleet's surge carrier strike group.
"When we returned and entered our surge period, we were at the forefront of a new concept in training and readiness," said Chanik. His team was able to conduct required maintenance and training while maintaining readiness to deploy at a moment's notice.
This accomplishment at the completion of Chanik's tour closed another successful chapter in the admiral's career.
Chanik previously served as executive officer of Carl Vinson and as commanding officer of USS Enterprise (CVN 65).
Chanik heads to Washington, D.C., to take on the job of director, Programming Division on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.
"Six months from now, with Admiral Clingan's leadership, the Carl Vinson Strike Group will be even better than it is today," said Chanik.
Clingan brings plenty of experience to the strike group from his days as Carl Vinson commanding officer.
"I'm honored, humbled and pretty fired-up about assuming control of Carl Vinson Strike Group," said Clingan. "I'm fired up, because a battle group is the quintessential instrument of national power. If you put all the capabilities of this battle group to sea - we instantly become the fourth most powerful nation in the world."
Clingan graduated from the University of Washington in June 1977 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He previously served as the deputy director of Operations for U.S. Central Command and executive officer of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, destroyers USS O'Kane (DDG 77) and USS Mustin (DDG 89), cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), fast combat support ship USS Camden (AOE 2) and Carrier Air Wing 9 are currently conducting steps of the Inter-Deployment Readiness Cycle in preparation for the strike group's upcoming deployment, which is planned for early next year.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70.