USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, At Sea (NNS) -- The Deputy Secretary of Defense visited Nimitz-carrier aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) to thank Sailors for the role they are playing in support to regional partners as the ship operates in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility, Oct. 19.
Dr. Ashton Carter's visit to the ship came as part of several stops he made throughout the region to regional partners to extend to them sentiments of U.S. commitment to stability and to thank them for their longstanding support to the United States.
"You are doing remarkable things aboard this ship. You have been working incredibly hard for these last five months, at great sacrifice, for all of our security," said Carter during an all-hands call with ship and squadron personnel. "I know that you will be out here beyond the typical seven-month deployment, for an extended nine months. So today I wanted to come out and visit and thank you for all that you do for our country and our national defense."
During his visit, Carter toured the ship and recognized 28 Sailors with coins at the all-hands call. He also ate a meal with Sailors, hearing from them about why they serve and what their brightest moments have been on deployment so far. The trip to the ship concluded with an airpower demonstration by aircraft of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7.
Carter said that he observed a tremendous amount of pride from Ike Sailors.
"This ship symbolizes the great spirit of American military innovation and strength," said Carter. "It is a source of immense national pride."
Meeting Carter was a proud moment for Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class (AW) Charles Hubbard of the Patriots of Electronic Attack Squadron 140. He said that Carter's visit deeply motivated him as Ike continues its deployment.
"It's an honor that he came all the way over from Washington, D.C., to touch base with us and talk to us about current events," said Hubbard. "To come out and talk to your [Sailors] when you're in such a high position, it means a lot."
As part of the air power demonstration, the aircraft of CVW 7 performed everything from high-speed maneuvers to formation flying. Carter said he was impressed and understood clearly why the team is an integral piece in providing maritime security and stability in the region.
"You are playing a part in history, right now. Every time you prepare a jet to take off. Every action you take to keep this ship moving forward. You are what matters most," said Carter. "You extend that long line of naval service that has carried our nation through every decisive moment in our history. We are all made safer and more secure because of you. And the nation is forever grateful."
For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.