ABOARD USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet, Vice Adm. Timothy J. Keating, visited USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Aug. 25.
Keating made his first arrested landing in three years aboard the familiar Nimitz flight deck in an F/A-18F Super Hornet. He sat on the enlisted mess decks and conversed with Sailors over lunch. He then met with Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Commander, Rear Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, before heading to the hangar bay to speak to Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 Sailors.
Keating confirmed the uncertainty of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group's schedule, and emphasized that Sailors must remain flexible and ready to accomplish any task their country may have for them.
"You're in very high demand," Keating told the Sailors. "If you weren't so good, folks wouldn't want you, so it's quite a compliment."
Because of Nimitz' accomplishments over the last five months of deployment, Keating said those in command of our nation's forces, "know that the force that can respond most rapidly and with unparalleled precision is the Nimitz Strike Group."
Grateful for the opportunity to come out and visit with the Nimitz/CVW-11 team, Keating said, "I'm glad I get to represent every one of you -- there's no higher honor. There is no higher honor than to be able to tell folks, 'I was out on Nimitz yesterday, and I looked in the eyes of each of these youngsters, and I could tell they're ready.' Whatever comes up, you are ready."
According to Keating, he was also glad to be "home." He told the crew of when he used to fly A-6 Intruders off Nimitz' flight deck when he was still a lieutenant junior grade. "I've been cruising on this ship more than any other ship in my life, so I feel like I'm back home aboard Nimitz."
For related news, visit the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn68.