USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) arrived aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the aircraft carrier currently conducting operations in the Northern Arabian Sea, Jan. 6.
Adm. Gary Roughead, CNO, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick West are visiting the carrier to hear directly from the Sailors of the deployed strike group.
During his visit Roughead will spend time talking to Sailors and observing day-to-day operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). He will also hold an all-hands call with Sailors in the ship's hangar bay.
"It's important for me to visit Nimitz and the fleet as often as I can to get a sense of what we're doing and what's on the minds of our Sailors; what they're thinking about and the ideas they have to make our Navy better." said Roughead. "You can get a very narrow view of things in Washington; and if you're not out listening to our great Sailors around the world, especially here on Nimitz, you're not getting the full picture."
During his visit Roughead is scheduled to re-enlist Sailors as well as pin on enlisted air and surface warfare devices on newly appointed warfare specialists.
Since entering the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations Sep. 18., Nimitz has flown more than 2,058 sorties in support of OEF, providing 30 percent of the close air support to the coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Nimitz CSG, commanded by Rear Adm. John W. Miller, is comprised of USS Nimitz, embarked Carrier Air Wing 11, embarked Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Chosin. Ships assigned to DESRON 23 include the destroyers USS Pinckney, USS Sampson and the frigate USS Rentz.
Squadrons from CVW 11 include the "Black Aces" of Strike Fighter Squadron 41, the "Tophatters" of VFA 14, the "Warhawks" of VFA 97, the "Sidewinders" of VFA 86, the "Indians" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 6, the "Black Ravens" of Electronic Attack Squadron 135, the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 and the "Wallbangers" of Carrier Airborne Command and Control Squadron 117.
Helicopter detachments include the "Easy Riders" of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light 37, the "Battle Cats" of HSL 43, the "Wolfpack" of HSL 45, the "Scorpions" of HSL 49 and the "Wildcards" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23. Also accompanying the Nimitz CSG are Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11 and the USNS Bridge.
For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn68/.