Carrier Strike Group 12 Changes Command

Story Number: NNS160902-05Release Date: 9/2/2016 11:30:00 AM
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By Lt. Sherrie A. Flippin

NORFOLK, Va (NNS) -- Carrier Strike Group TWELVE (CSG-12) held a change of command ceremony at The Pennsylvania House on Naval Station Norfolk, Sept. 1, 2016.

During the ceremony Rear Adm. Roy Kelley was relieved by Rear Adm. Kent Whalen as Commander.

Kelley assumed command of CSG-12 in July 2015 during an eight-month deployment aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). During deployment, the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) flawlessly navigated more than 110,000 nautical miles while operating across four Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR). While directly supporting Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), TRCSG executed more than 8,900 combat sorties and successfully employed more than 1,100 precision guided weapons in direct support of coalition ground forces in Iraq and Syria.

"The people, the ships, the aircraft, the command and control, the incredible capability that a Carrier Strike Group brings to any operation is the very reason why it is the center piece for U.S. Naval operations," said Kelley.

Kelley's first command tour was with the "Diamondbacks" of Fighter Squadron (VF) 102 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and his previous duty assignment was Chief of Naval Air Training. His shore assignments include F-14 Placement Officer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Joint Staff J-3 Joint Operations Directorate U.S. Central Command (JODCENT), Navy Staff Air Warfare Division (N88) as F/A-18 requirements officer and the Chief of Staff for Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific (CNAP).

His next assignment is Director, Joint Strike Fighter, Fleet Integration Office.

"We are successful because we are constantly striving to improve and prepare for what's next. Our Navy is the most powerful and capable maritime force on the planet. I am proud to have been part of the Strike Group and what they have accomplished," said Kelley. "Admiral Whalen, you are inheriting an incredible team with CSG-12 and I am happy to be putting the Strike Group in your capable hands."

Whalen's previous assignment was Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (J3) at Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy. During the ceremony, RDML Whalen shared that he gained an increased understanding of the United State's NATO commitments, military partners, army force structure and land force operational level planning throughout that tour.

As an aviator with more than 3,500 flight hours and 775 arrested landings, Whalen is humbled and honored to be back in command at sea.

"In my first two weeks of interacting with the Major Commanders and the Strike Group staff, I have been extremely impressed. I look forward to working closely with the other Strike Groups and waterfront leadership here in Norfolk and across our Navy. This is truly a team effort," said Whalen.

CSG-12 subordinate commands include USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), Destroyer Squadron TWO (CDS-2), USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Forest Sherman (DDG 98), Carrier Air Wing ONE (CVW-1), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron ELEVEN (HSC-11), Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE TWO FIVE (VAW-125), Electronic Attack Squadron ONE THREE SEVEN (VAQ-137), Strike Fighter Squadron ELEVEN (VFA-11), Strike Fighter Squadron EIGHT ONE (VFA-81), Strike Fighter Squadron ONE THREE SIX (VFA-136), Strike Fighter Squadron TWO ONE ONE (VFA-211).

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