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PIRAEUS, Greece - The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) – along with the embarked staff of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush CSG arrived in Piraeus, Greece, for a scheduled port visit, Feb. 3, 2023.
The port visit enhances the NATO Alliance and allows the Sailors of George H.W. Bush CSG a chance to experience Greek culture.
“Our mission on deployment has been to work closely with our partners and NATO Allies in order to deter, and if necessary, defend the Alliance,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. “Port visits like this one provide an opportunity for us to engage with our Allies and develop meaningful relationships that make a substantive difference across our force.”
Earlier this week, Greek military authorities confirmed the death of the Captain Tsitlakidis and Lieutenant Touroutsikas of a Hellenic Air Force F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft during a training flight. As they arrive in Greece, the Sailors of George H.W. Bush and CSG 10 honor the memory of these Hellenic aviators.
“We were saddened to hear of the loss of Captain Tsitlakidis and Lieutenant Touroutsikas this week,” said Velez. “We extend our condolences to the families and airmen who are grieving the loss of their family members, friends, and brothers-in-arms this week. We honor their memories and service to their country.”
During their time in port, leaders from George H.W. Bush will meet with Greek leadership during a key leader engagement to reinforce relationships and strengthen the NATO Alliance. Additionally, Sailors from the ship will take much deserved time off to experience the cities of Piraeus and Athens.
“Team Avenger looks forward to our port visit in Athens, Greece,” said Capt. Dave Pollard, commanding officer of George H.W. Bush. “Our Sailors will enjoy time off and the rich history of Greece, while volunteering and acting as ambassadors for the United States.”
The ship’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) team arranged a variety of tours for Sailors to experience Piraeus, to include a walking tour of Athens, a visit to the Acropolis, as well as multiple tours to the various Greek islands surrounding the area.
Additionally, Sailors will have the opportunity to participate in a Thousand Points of Light Community Relations event, working with the local school “The Home Project.”
Sailors participating in the event will have the opportunity to teach English to the school children, before joining them in team sports with in the afternoon. Community relations engagements such as these strengthen the ties with the local population while providing Sailors exposure to different cultures.
Strengthening partnerships during the port visit to Piraeus builds enduring relationships and emphasizes our shared commitment to promoting safety and stability within the region, while seeking opportunities to enhance our interoperability as NATO Allies.
CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG, is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. George H.W. Bush CSG is comprised of George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).
The ships of DESRON-26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).
The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Jolly Rogers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.
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