CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. James T. Loeblein relieved Rear Adm. Christopher Grady as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 during a change of command ceremony on board the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), July 17.
Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, was the guest speaker and presented Grady the Legion of Merit for his exceptional meritorious service from January 2014 to July 2015.
"Thank you for being the kind of leader I could count on, and our Sailors could count on," said Floyd during the ceremony. "I'm encouraged that our Navy has recognized your leadership and given you even greater responsibility of leading our surface forces in the Atlantic."
Under the guidance of Grady, who assumed command Jan. 28, 2014, CSG-1, its flagship USS Carl Vinson, and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and the ships of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 completed a nearly 10-month combat deployment to U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and maritime security in the regions.
Grady also oversaw more than 12,300 aircraft sorties, including 2,382 combat missions that dropped more than a half-a-million pounds of ordnance in the fight against ISIS.
"It was an honor working with this group of devoted men and women," said Grady. "Their skill, dedication, and courage throughout our combat deployment allowed us to meet and exceed our operational objectives. The quality of personnel in this strike group is eye-watering, and I was humbled to lead them."
Grady will report as commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic.
A native of Salisbury, North Carolina, Loeblein assumes command of CSG-1 following his previous tour as deputy commander at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet.
At sea, Loeblein served as main propulsion assistant, CIC officer and chief engineer officer aboard USS Meyerkord (FF 1058), chief engineer officer on USS Conolly (DD 979), and executive officer on USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) as part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. As commanding officer of USS Thach (FFG 43), he participated in two strike group deployments to the Arabian Gulf. He also commanded DESRON 9, serving as Sea Combat Commander for the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
CSG-1, formerly established Oct. 1, 2009, deployed August 2014 with the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52); DESRON 1, comprised of the guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Dewey (DDG 105); CVW-17, which includes the "Fighting Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the "Sunliners" of VFA-81, the "Stingers" of VFA-113, the "Mighty Shrikes" of VFA-94, the "Cougars" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, the "Sun Kings" of Carrier Early Airborne Warning (VAW) 116, the "Red Lions" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 15, the "Battlecats" of Helicopter Sea Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73, and "The Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30; as well as a detachment from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.