DOHA, Qatar (NNS) -- The chief of Naval Operations (CNO) visited Africa and the Middle East to strengthen maritime partnerships, attend the Doha 2nd International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX) 2010/Middle East Naval Commander Conference and spend time with Sailors in the region, March 25-30.
In Djibouti, CNO Adm. Gary Roughead toured the base facilities at Camp Lemonnier and spoke with individual augmentees (IAs), GWOT Support Assignments (GSAs) and deployed units about the high demand of extraordinary skill levels and the standard they set for others to follow.
"For the Navy, this is a different way for us to use our Navy. We have since the beginning, thrown ourselves in the IA process, GSA process and right now we have about 12,000 Sailors on the ground," said Roughead.
CNO spoke to Sailors stationed aboard USS Cole (DDG 67) and thanked them for their hard work while deployed to the region. He also reminded Sailors how much of a symbol of strength the Cole represents as he recalled the terrorist attack it survived in Yemen.
"Remember the special heritage that this ship has," said Roughead. "It represents the resiliency of our Navy, and it represents the spirit of our Navy - in ways that other ships simply do not."
Sailors also had an opportunity to ask the CNO questions.
Roughead made a quick stop to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to speak with service members stationed at United States Military Training Mission and expressed the importance of building partnerships to enhance global security and maintaining a dominant maritime force in the region.
While at the conference in Doha, Qatar, CNO met with service chiefs and fleet admirals to jointly address maritime technology, enhanced security at sea, regional policy initiatives and ways to overcome obstacles faced when executing maritime operations.
CNO also visited USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), which participated in DIMDEX, and met with Sailors and Marines. "I believe that there is no more flexible, no more powerful, and no more effective source than the Navy and Marine Corps team," said Roughead.
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