BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk relieved Rear Adm. John W. Goodwin as Commander Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9 in a change of command ceremony held March 26 aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) moored at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton.
“It is a pleasure and an honor to be back in the Pacific Northwest, and especially to become part of the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group,” Van Buskirk said.
Van Buskirk graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1979 and spent much of his career aboard submarines, including tours as executive officer of USS Georgia (SSBN 729) and as commanding officer of USS Pasadena (SSN 752). He was selected for flag officer in 2004; and, before taking command of CSG 9, served as Commander Task Force Total Force, which was established in 2004 to oversee the development of the Navy’s Human Capital Strategy.
Commander 3rd Fleet Vice Adm. Barry M. Costello, the guest speaker for the ceremony, said that Van Buskirk is only the second submarine officer ever to take command of a carrier strike group.
“It’s the right thing to do, he’s the right person for the job, and as far as I know this is only the second time this has happened; it’s indicative of the strength of his leadership,” Costello said.
Abraham Lincoln is the flagship for CSG 9. CSG 9 is comprised of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 and its associated ships: USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), USS Ingraham (FFG 61), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Ford (FFG 54), USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Curts (FFG 38), USS Rodney M. Davis and USS Russell (DDG 59).
The strike group commander’s duties are to oversee operational training and readiness for the entire group and to maintain administrative functions and material war fighting readiness support for ships and squadrons.
“This appointment is truly a dream come true, and it’s very humbling,” Van Buskirk said. “I look forward to working with the men and women of the strike group staff and each ship in the group.”
The departing Commander, Rear Adm. John W. Goodwin, served CSG 9 since Sept. 7, 2005. Under his leadership, the strike group completed a Western Pacific deployment, which included participation in the massive U.S. joint forces exercise Valiant Shield and the multinational Rim of the Pacific and Foal Eagle exercises.
Goodwin is expected to transfer to Norfolk where he will assume the duties of Commander Naval Air Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
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