ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SW/FMF) Joe Campa Jr., visited the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Oct. 29 in the Persian Gulf.
The visit to Enterprise was one of the final stops of a tour throughout the 5th Fleet area of operations for Roughead and Campa.
Hosted by Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 12, Rear Adm. Dan Holloway and his warfare commanders, the visit allowed the CNO to meet and greet embarked Sailors and Marines and show his appreciation for their contributions to operations being carried out by the strike group in support of 5th Fleet commanders' Maritime objectives: Maritime Security Operations, as well as Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
During the course of the trip, the naval leader had dinner with junior Sailors, viewed a Hispanic Heritage celebration, observed flight operations and held an "All Hands" call with the entire crew in the hangar bay.
"It is fitting that on my first visit to an aircraft carrier as the Chief of Naval Operations that I come to Enterprise," said Roughead. "She has served our country so well, in so many different ways, for many different wars that she has the proudest tradition of our fleet."
The CNO discussed his three priorities of warfighting readiness, building tomorrow's Navy and attracting, recruiting and retaining Sailors and their families. He stated that his priorities are not very different from what's been done in the past and made reference to the areas that need to be upheld within the U.S. Navy.
"We have to maintain our warfighting readiness because we are at war," said Roughead. "The Navy gives our nation the flexibility, the agility, the power to be able to prosecute that war and also to be able to respond to other contingencies and potential conflicts. We have to maintain that readiness and not just at what we call the high end of warfare."
The CNO stressed the importance of putting policies and programs in place that will attract young people to the Navy.
"We have to reflect the diversity of our country," said Roughead. "When our country looks at the Navy they need to see themselves reflected back, in our enlisted force we have that, in our officer corps we do not and we have to work on that."
Roughead also stated that the Navy needs a balanced and capable ship force of 313 ships so that the Navy can have what it needs to take the actions necessary to defend the nation.
"We have to be able to look into the future and see what tomorrow's going to hold for us," said Roughead. "What should we have as a Navy to address our challenges, because the investments that we make today are no different than the investment that was made on Enterprise decades ago. We have to make the right choices."
Enterprise is currently deployed with CCSG 12, Carrier Air Wing 1, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 2 and USS Gettysburg (CG 64). More than 5,500 Sailors and Marines are deployed aboard Enterprise and its embarked units.
For more news from USS Enterprise, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.