USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) welcomed a new command master chief March 7.
Command Master Chief (CMDCM) (AW/SW) Jeffrey Pickering relieved CMDCM (AW/SW) April D. Beldo March 7 as Carl Vinson's command master chief (CMC).
The change came as Vinson conducts maritime theater security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) during its second western Pacific (WestPac) deployment in two years.
Beldo's assignment to Vinson began in July 2009 and included the ship's transition from refueling complex overhaul (RCOH), humanitarian and disaster relief efforts during Operation Unified Response with Task Force-Haiti, and two subsequent deployments to the U.S. 7th Fleet and U.S. 5th Fleet AORs in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
"I had never been a part of an RCOH tour, so I was not expecting the shipyard environment in Newport News," Beldo said. "I couldn't believe we would be able to go to sea in six weeks based on the condition of Carl Vinson in November 2009. The preparation for the WestPac deployment, Inspection and Survey (INSURV), and then preparing for Maintenance Material Management Inspection (3MI) - the crew continued to hit home runs." Beldo said she was leaving Pickering with "the best of the best."
"When I sit and think about how far this carrier has come since I have been aboard, and getting the news of our being a Battle E winner a few weeks ago, I cannot help but swell up with pride to know that I was a part of this outstanding crew," Beldo said.
Beldo is scheduled to report to Naval Education and Training Command, Pensacola, Fla. where she hopes she to receive the same support given her while onboard Carl Vinson.
Pickering came to Vinson from his position as Commander, Navy Systems Supply Command Global Logistics Support's CMC in San Diego. He expressed gratitude for the work Beldo had put forth over the past three years.
"What CMC could ask for a better situation? I'm joining a crew that just earned the Battle E and I'm taking over for a CMC who has set these Sailors up perfectly for success. In the short period of time I've been aboard Vinson I've come to see why this ship has the reputation it does," Pickering said. "Carl Vinson is known for getting assigned the hardest jobs and doing them very well. I'm looking forward to this job as much as anything I've ever done."
Carl Vinson, guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) and guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) comprise Carrier Strike Group 1.
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