USS Nimitz, At Sea (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) presented the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) the Meritorious Unit Commendation Jan. 6 during a two-day visit to the ship.
Adm. Gary Roughead, CNO, presented the award to Nimitz Commanding Officer Capt. Paul Monger and Command Master Chief (SW/AW) (CMC) Chuck Clarke in the hangar bay during an all-hands call.
"This really is the result of all the tremendous effort these Sailors have been putting in for the past two years," said Monger. "I'm very proud to lead this crew and impressed by the hard work and professionalism that encompasses what it means to be a Nimitz Sailor."
Nimitz was acknowledged for magnificent performance during two deployments separated by the first-ever carrier incremental availability, an intense 30-day maintenance period, followed by a 10-day sustainment exercise.
"This isn't something that's earned in one day," said Clarke. "It's a culmination of effort and sustained excellence by Nimitz' crew. The operative word in the award is unit, which means it's not the CMC's award or the captain's award, it is the crew's award. I'm extraordinarily proud of each and every Sailor that contributed to that effort."
From April 2007 to January 2009, Nimitz supported Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, flying more than 540 combat missions. The ship also completed an historic port visit to Chennai, India, in direct support of the 7th Fleet Area of Operation regional engagement objectives.
On her current deployment to the 5th Fleet Area of Operations, Nimitz has flown more than 2,200 combat sorties providing close air support to the coalition forces in Afghanistan.
For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn68/.