ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) visited the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) at sea, Jan. 19.
CNO Adm. John Richardson and MCPON Russell Smith spent the day aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) engaging with JCSSG leadership, observing day-to-day operations, and speaking with Sailors about their accomplishments on deployment so far.
“You are the most talented Navy we have ever had,” said Richardson. “We have the data to show that. To see you out here, using your energy, being creative, taking the fight to our rivals, making sure we stay the best Navy in the world is very inspirational.”
While on board, Richardson reenlisted 22 Sailors, presented the Sailor of the Year awards, and promoted one Sailor in the ship's hangar bay.
“It’s great to be a part of this ceremony,” said Richardson. “The commitment that is shown by these folks reenlisting right here is exactly the type of commitment that is going to keep us on top.”
Shipboard Sailors were grateful that Richardson made time for them.
"It feels amazing to be reenlisted by the CNO,” said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Albert Lucious, from Wichita Falls, Texas, one of the Sailors who was reenlisted. “I never thought I would have this opportunity.”
Information Technician 3rd Class Daniel Ayala, from Dover, New Jersey, was grateful to Richardson for promoting him.
“It was such an honor and privilege to have had both the CNO and MCPON here during my promotion,” said Ayala. “To have them here to congratulate me was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s moments like this that make me realize how all of what we do is recognized and rewarded.”
Both CNO and MCPON commented on the professionalism and capability of JCSSG Sailors.
“Be mindful you are out here doing tremendous work,” said Richardson. “You are maintaining influence in strategic areas around the world and increasing the prosperity of all of our citizens by defending the values that Americans stand for.”
MCPON agreed with CNO, and additionally commented on the evident pride Sailors take in their work.
“That’s what makes us a better Navy, it’s our people,” said Smith. “Your innovation, creativity, technical competency and capabilities; the way you solve problems and embrace diversity, makes us better as a Navy.”
The JCSSG has been doing what they need to do so far and show no sign of letting up now, said Richardson.
The CNO also spoke to the use of Dynamic Force Employment, and how the JCSSG has been embodying the strategy while on deployment.
“Dynamic Force Employment brings us back to our roots as a Navy,” said Richardson. “Moving around the world unpredictably and putting doubt and fear in the minds of our adversaries brings us back to what we do best: being America’s lethal and maneuverable fighting force.”
JCSSG is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
Components of JCSSG, commanded by Rear Adm. Mike Wettlaufer, include the John C. Stennis, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21.
CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, VFA-97, VFA-41 and VFA-14.
DESRON 21 consists of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93).
For more news from John C. Stennis strike group visit www.stennis.navy.mil or www.facebook.com/stennis74.
For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.