Saturday, February 05, 2011

Second Fleet Commander Embarks America's Newest Aircraft Carrier

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Second Fleet, Vice Adm. Daniel P. Holloway embarked on the U.S. Navy's newest aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Feb. 1-4.

The George H.W. Bush Strike Group is currently conducting Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) in the Atlantic Ocean. Holloway's visit marks his first underway embark on Bush, arriving aboard to assess the progress of the Strike Group during the exercises and visit with the Strike Group leadership team.

COMPTUEX and JTFEX are the final training exercises before a strike group is certified as ready to deploy, challenging the ships and Sailors with various battle problems and at-sea engagements across the full spectrum of combat operations. While embarked, Holloway served as the Combined Force Maritime Component Commander for the strike group and coalition units, overall in charge of assets in the maritime domain in a wartime engagement scenario.

"We need agile, relevant naval forces ready to respond to the call of the nation," said Holloway. "It is an honor for me to be embarked to review at sea this rigorous training and certification process," said Holloway.

Holloway previously visited Bush in December, welcoming the crew back to Norfolk after an underway period, and personally thanking everyone for taking part in a medical evacuation of a Sailor from a U.S. Navy submarine at sea which had delayed the carrier's return to port.

"I'm here to tell you this team has already performed the fundamental block and tackling to establish the foundation to be full mission capable," said Holloway. "I am confident she will be certified in all warfare areas in time for her combat deployment."

The GHWB Strike Group includes the staffs of Carrier Strike Group TWO and Destroyer Squadron 22, the aircraft and crew of Carrier Air Wing 8 and ships: USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Mitscher (DDG 57), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), USS Anzio (CG 68) and Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon (F 102).

Joining the GHWB Strike Group during COMPTUEX are USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Boone (FFG 28), USS Carr (FFG 52), USS John L. Hall (FFG 32) and USS Monterey (CG 61).
In addition to embarking onboard Bush, Holloway visited the other ships in the Strike Group and participating in the exercise, flying via helicopter to each ship over the course of three days. Holloway's first visit was with the strike group's Spanish partners onboard Borbon.

"The building of relationships and forging partnerships before the crisis occurs are key to our coalition engagement," said Holloway.

"The Strike Group Team has come together and has worked very hard so far during COMPTUEX to be in the highest state of readiness possible when we deploy," said Rear Adm. Nora Tyson, commander, GHWB Strike Group. "We're honored that Adm. Holloway had the opportunity to see just how talented and dedicated this part of his Second Fleet team is."

Bush will depart on its first-ever combat deployment in Spring 2011, serving as the flagship for Tyson and the GHWB Strike Group.