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    Allied Strength: George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Concludes Vigilance Activity Neptune Strike 23.1

    Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 Daily Operations

    Courtesy Photo | 230224-N-NO777-1003 IONIAN SEA (Feb. 24, 2023) Aircraft attached to Carrier Air Wing...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Rodgers 

    Carrier Strike Group 10

    ADRIATIC SEA – The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG) concluded participation in NATO vigilance activity Neptune Strike (NEST) 23.1, Feb. 28, 2023.

    NEST 23.1, a NATO vigilance activity led by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), demonstrated the alliance’s ability to integrate the high-end maritime strike capabilities of a carrier strike group and expeditionary strike group to support the defense of the alliance.

    “The level of trust developed between the U.S. and allied forces throughout our time in the theater, including past iterations of NEST and other bi- and multi-lateral operations, will pay dividends going forward,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. “Our national security – as well as Euro-Atlantic security– draws upon the strength of teamwork and our common purpose as allied nations.”

    During the activity, the strike group completed multiple unique events with NATO allies:
    • The strike group successfully completed multi-carrier operations between the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Italian Navy carrier ITS Cavour (C 550), and the Spanish Navy carrier ESPS Juan Carlos I (LHD-61).
    • During the multi-carrier operations, the strike group hosted Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander of both U.S. Sixth Fleet, and STRIKFORNATO, Italian Vice Adm. Aurelio De Carolis, commander in chief, Italian Fleet, Norwegian Navy Commodore Trond Grunningsrud, commander, Norwegian Fleet, and Croatian Navy Rear Adm. Milan Zunic, assistant chief of staff, Allied Joint Force Command, Naples, aboard George H.W. Bush during a key leader engagement. Velez visited Juan Carlos I to discuss interoperability and interoperability with Spanish allies.
    • Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) hosted Italian Navy Rear Adm. Giancinto Sciandra, commander, Italian Maritime Forces, and staff aboard the ship and completed a crossdeck with Italian Sailors assigned to Italian Navy Orizzonte-class destroyer ITS Caio Duilio (D 554). The ship also completed a group sail with Caio Duilio and Cavour.
    • Squadrons from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, including Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, VFA-103, and VFA-136 worked with British, French, German, Greek, Italian, and Spanish allies to complete long range strike training and aerial refueling events.
    • Spanish Marines assigned to Juan Carlos I traveled with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 to complete combined training with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 12, assigned to CSG-10, in Albania.
    • George H.W. Bush, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), and Leyte Gulf completed a group sail with Caio Duilio, Cavour, and Juan Carlos I.
    • George H.W. Bush completed a crossdeck event between its Sailors and Sailors assigned to Cavour and Juan Carlos I.

    “Activities like NEST are great opportunities to deepen the interoperability and interchangeability of the alliance and to further vital U.S. military and diplomatic strategy,” said Capt. Dave Pollard, commanding officer, George H.W. Bush. “Showcasing the strength of the alliance to regional adversaries provides opportunities to diplomats to negotiate from a position of strength.”

    CSG-10 previously participated in NEST 22.3 in Oct. 2022.

    George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, CVW-7, DESRON-26, the Information Warfare Commander, and Leyte Gulf.

    The ships of DESRON-26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and Delbert D. Black.

    The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard the George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Knighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of HSC-5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.

    For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe - U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.

    Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.

    The George H.W. Bush CSG is on a scheduled deployment in the NAVEUR area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.



    Date Taken: 02.28.2023
    Date Posted: 03.01.2023 12:57
    Story ID: 439464

    Web Views: 509
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