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Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Commander, U.S. European Command embarks USS George H.W. Bush

30 March 2023

From USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

TYRRHENIAN SEA - U.S. Army Gen. Christopher Cavoli, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander, U.S. European Command visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) at sea, March 24, 2023.

He was joined by Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Adm. Stuart Munsch and Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, U.S. Sixth Fleet Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee aboard the carrier to meet with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush CSG leaders and Sailors to highlight the strike group’s employment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibility.

"Embarking aboard one of America's most powerful warships on the open seas is awe inspiring," said Cavoli. "This deployment of the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group illustrates the persistent presence that the U.S. Navy brings as part of America's contributions to the collective defense of Europe. Seeing the carrier strike group on the horizon, our potential adversaries take note, and our Allies and partners take comfort."

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group arrived in the European theater in August 2022. Since that time the ships and aircraft across the team worked extensively to build upon relationships with NATO partners and allies in order to increase Alliance capability, reassure partners, and deter aggression from malign actors.

In addition to examples such as the Strike Group’s leadership and participation in NATO vigilance activity Neptune Strike 22.2 and Neptune Strike 23.1 the team played a key role in a variety of major events in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations with partners and allies including:

  • dual and tri-carrier operations five times in theater with ESPS Juan Carlos I, ITS Cavour, and the French Carrier Strike Group with FS Charles de Gaulle;
  • exercise Mare Aperto 22-2;
  • exercise Juniper Oak, the largest U.S.-Israeli military exercise in history in support of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet while assigned to U.S. Sixth Fleet;
  • Algerian engagements including a port visit, passing exercise, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal team engagement;
  • exercise Hemex Orion;
  • exercise Dynamic Manta;
  • shipboard exercises and events with ITS Caio Duilio, HRV Dubrovnik, ALS Butrinti and ALS Lissus, ITS Carabiniere, ITS Virginio Fasan, and TCG Gungor Durmas;
  • two iterations of the Spanish Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) for Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 personnel;
  • the Athens International Air Show;
  • the EURONAVAL Trade Show in Paris;
  • more than 22 key leader engagements, five major receptions and protocol events in Crete, Croatia, Italy, France, and Greece which included more than 1,500 visitors to the aircraft carrier alone;
  • and multiple press conferences in NATO port visits to reassure host nation audiences and reinforce existing relationships for future maritime operations and international stability.

“We’ve had the opportunity to train and operate extensively with our NATO partners and allies, and to support the development of relationships with partner nations such as Tunisia and Algeria in the region,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. “The relationships we’ve built upon and the warfighting capabilities we’ve expanded during our deployment demonstrated the capabilities and reach of the NATO Alliance, and served to deter our adversaries while reassuring our friends and 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.

Additionally, the visitors toured the ship’s hangar bay to observe the maintenance and teamwork required to maintain ready and capable aircraft in support of the strike group’s mission, observed ship maneuvering from the navigation bridge and flight operations from the flight deck.

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, 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 has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.


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