NORTH ISLAND, Ca (NNS) -- Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 held a change of command ceremony aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Oct. 26.
Rear Adm. Samuel Perez relieved Rear Adm. Ted "Twig" Branch as commander, Carrier Strike Group 1.
CSG-1, with Branch as its first commander, was formally established Oct. 1, 2009. The strike group is comprised of Carl Vinson, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1, USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57).
Branch led the way through Carl Vinson's participation in Operation Southern Seas 2010 and Carl Vinson's homeport change from Norfolk to San Diego this year.
Operation Southern Seas 2010 was a U.S. Southern Command Partnership of the Americas operation, which provided U.S. and international forces in South America the opportunity to operate in a multi-national environment.
During the three-month underway, Carl Vinson was a first responder after a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake occurred near Port-au-Prince, Haiti Jan. 12.
The Carl Vinson spearheaded the beginning of Operation Unified Response as its embarked helicopters delivered more than 2,900,000 lbs. of cargo ashore.
Specifically, the ship delivered 1,095,442 lbs of food; 147,591 gallons of water; and more than 40,000 pounds of medical supplies. The ship's medical team treated 60 patients, while the air wing flew 1,299 sorties and conducted 1,152 medical evacuations.
After Haiti, CSG 1 conducted several engagements and exercises with regional partner nations including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. CSG 1 also conducted air wing at-sea exercises with Brazil, Argentina and Peru.
After arriving in her new home port of San Diego, CSG 1 led the strike group through a Tailored Ship's Training Assessment, Deploying Group Systems Integration Test, Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare Course, Group Sail, and Carl Vinson's recently completed Inspection and Survey.
Preparations for deployment through an aggressive Fleet Response Training Plan included Fleet Synthetic Training Group and Warfare Commander events, Navy Tactical Planners and Network Centric Warfare Commander's Courses, and a Combined Warfare Commander's Course.
Additionally, CSG 1 was responsible for the training and readiness of CVW 17's deployment preparations through Squadron level Advanced Readiness Program and Air Wing Integrated Fallon Detachment training.
"I am very proud of where we've come from and, together, what we have accomplished," said Branch. "I am confident you are ready for the challenges to come and that you will continue your tradition of success. I only wish I could be there with you."
"I am thrilled to be relieving Admiral Branch," said Perez. "I saw this tremendous strike group in action when I was in Haiti. I stood and watched in awe at the magnificent work they did relieving the suffering and saving lives. This is a phenomenal group of Sailors. I'm proud to be on their team."
Perez' previous command was as deputy director for Joint Interagency Task Force South.
Branch will be taking command of Naval Air Forces Atlantic.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.