USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- Commander, USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group, Task Force 70, Task Force 75 and Carrier Strike Group 5 changed hands during a change of command ceremony aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) May 29.
U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. John M. Bird served as guest speaker as Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd relieved Rear Adm. Kevin M. Donegan.
"Just 20 months ago, I stood in the hangar bay as we welcomed Admiral Donegan to CTF-70 (Commander Task Force 70). I was honored then to kick off that chapter of his career and I am especially honored to be here today closing the chapter of an absolutely remarkable command tour," said Bird.
"Very few leaders in our military, especially one-star admirals, have such wide-ranging responsibility, scope of authority or opportunity to lead such a lethal, combat ready force of ships, aircraft and the personnel that fight them. Admiral Donegan's ability to do just that has been most impressive and proven time and time again.
"Command at sea is the essence of the U.S. Navy, and command of a carrier strike group is the pinnacle of command at sea," said Bird.
Donegan pointed to his staff and the members of CTF 70 as the key to his success.
"For me, it's all about our Sailors. All about what we can do is because of capabilities made possible by our high-tech equipment," said Donegan. "However, that's just potential to me; the heart and soul of the ability to operate those things to the fullest of their capabilities is our Sailors. Their ingenuity, their dedication and their problem solving."
Donegan, who will be the next director of Operation for U.S. Central Command, imparted his confidence in Cloyd's abilities.
"He is a strategic thinker and a proven operator. The bottom line is: [CTF 70 is] in good hands," said Donegan.
"I am humbled by the utterly priceless opportunity to be assuming command of what I believe, and you know, is the most capable, most unique and most important arm of our maritime power," said Cloyd. "What matters most is what we achieve today, what we achieve in the future and what we achieve in the Forward-Deployed Naval Forces. The opportunity we have now is to set the standard for operational excellence and for war-fighting excellence in 2010 and beyond."
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