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    Carrier Strike Group 12 Holds Change of Command

    Carrier Strike Group 12 Conducts Change of Command

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Williams | 230524-N-YB423-1014 OSLO, NORWAY Rear Adm. Erik Eslich assumes command of Carrier...... read more read more



    Story by Ensign Mackenzie Culver 

    Carrier Strike Group 12

    OSLO, Norway– In a time-honored naval tradition, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 held a change of command ceremony aboard the strike group’s flagship, the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) as it anchored outside of Oslo, Norway while deployed, May 24th.

    Rear Adm. Erik J. Eslich relieved Rear Adm. Greg Huffman and assumed duties as Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12 in a ceremony attended by strike group leadership and crew.

    During the ceremony, Huffman thanked the crew for their hard work, dedication, and service to their country during his time as Commander.

    “To the amazing team of Strike Group 12, I am thankful for the incredible effort you put towards your work every single day. It has been remarkable to see all of the achievements of the strike group during the last two years. Your dedication to each other and your unbounded enthusiasm for our mission sets the bar across the waterfront and flight line for every warship and squadron in the Navy. I am excited to see what the strike group continues to accomplish during this deployment and wish the entire team nothing but the best,” said Huffman.

    Huffman assumed command of Carrier Strike Group 12 in June 2021. He led Carrier Strike Group 12 through the first full ship shock trials for an aircraft carrier since 1986, the on-time completion of the Ford’s first planned incremental availability (PIA), strike group and air wing integration, and the completion of the Gerald R, Ford Strike Group’s first deployment to the U.S. 2nd Fleet and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in fall 2022.

    After reading his orders, Huffman thanked his wife and family for their support and announced that he will report for duty as Commander, Joint Region Marianas.

    “It is an honor to join this team during deployment as the Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12,” said Eslich. “I am excited for the opportunity to work alongside and sail with such an accomplished group of professionals and demonstrate to the world the flexible and dynamic capability that Carrier Strike Group 12 brings to the theater during our deployment.”

    Eslich reported to CSG-12 and the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group during the ship’s scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

    As a career surface warfare officer, he served tours aboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70), USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), and Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group Eight. Eslich served as executive officer for both USS O’Kane (DDG 77) and USS Ramage (DDG 61) and he
    went on to command both USS Ramage and Destroyer Squadron Two (CDS 2), throughout which, he has made multiple deployments in support of training and real world operations.

    Eslich served as a U.S. House of Representatives case officer, Office of Legislative Affairs; executive assistant to Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic; global requirements officer at the Joint Integrated Air Missile Defense Organization (JIAMDO); surface warfare community manager at the bureau of Navy Personnel (BUPERS-3); executive assistant to the Deputy Commander and Commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command; and Deputy 7th Fleet Commander prior to assuming duties as Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12.

    The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is comprised of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS McFaul (DDG 74), and USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116). CVW 8 squadrons are: HSC-9 “Tridents, HSM-70 “Spartans”, VAW-124 “Bear Aces”, VFA-37 “Ragin’ Bulls”, VFA-213 “Blacklions”, VFA-87 “Golden Warriors”, VFA-31 “Tomcatters”, VAQ-142, “Gray Wolves”, and VRC-40 Det 2 “Rawhides”.

    The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) is conducting a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 6th fleet area of responsibility. The GRFCSG provides an inherently flexible naval force capable of deploying across combatant commands to meet emerging missions, deter potential adversaries, reassure allies and partners, enhance security and guarantee the free flow of global commerce.




    Date Taken: 05.24.2023
    Date Posted: 05.24.2023 06:57
    Story ID: 445398
    Location: OSLO, NO

    Web Views: 1,989
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