WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) started out the new year with a trip to the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) to meet with leadership and engage with Sailors in the region, Jan 15-23.
CNO Gary Roughead started his trip in Riyadh, meeting with leadership of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), Vice Adm. Wagdani, commander of RSNF; and visiting Sailors, then toured the Naval Forces School at King Faisal Naval Base in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
While in Bahrain, CNO, along with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West, told the Sailors and Marines of Navy Central Command (NAVCENT) that the ability of the Department of the Navy to put power in place calls for the Navy and Marine Corps team to be a ready force; and that force is the young men and women who serve.
Roughead went aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) to meet with leadership and talk with Sailors. He had the opportunity to reenlist Sailors during a ceremony in the hangar bay prior to an all hands call where he told the crew how important their presence in the Arabian Gulf was.
CNO said the Lincoln has provided an important amount of air support to the fight over Afghanistan, which is making a difference for the troops on the ground and the ability to do it from the sea is the beauty of an aircraft carrier.
"The Lincoln has done a terrific job, and I know that is going to continue throughout the deployment," he said.
While in Iraq, Roughead met his counterpart of the Iraq Naval Forces, Rear Adm. Ali. He also spoke to Sailors and other service members serving at the joint command about current Navy operations and the great teamwork between the services.
During the all hands calls, CNO and MCPON spoke to the Sailors about personnel matters, the Navy's newest capabilities and the future force of the fleet.
"What we are doing here where we have young Sailors, Soldiers, Airman and Marines; coming together, not necessarily at a headquarters, but doing the business of fighting a war; that is really the joint effort and they are doing an extraordinary job."
The last stop for CNO was in Afghanistan where he met with Sailors throughout the country deployed to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), ISAF IJC, the detention facility in Parwan, Shindand Airbase and Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah. He thanked them for their dedication to the efforts in Afghanistan.
"I'm proud of what you are doing," said CNO. "We couldn't do what we do if it wasn't for Sailors like you serving here."
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