By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Heather Weaver, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead visited the crew of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) April 15 to address Sailors deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO).
Roughead is visiting the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) AOO to strengthen international maritime partnerships as part of the Navy's Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower and meet with regional leaders in an effort to increase dialogue and cooperation.
During his visit to Harry S. Truman, Roughead took time to award three commendation medals as well as reenlist 38 Sailors. He also held an all-hands call for the crew. During his address, the CNO said it was an honor to visit the ship because the crew has done a phenomenal job of representing the dedication and commitment of the U.S. Navy.
"The work of this particular strike group has been extraordinary," he said. "You all are setting the bar, and you should be very proud of that."
Roughead said Sailors should also realize they are making a contribution to the big picture by flawlessly performing daily operations.
"You should be very proud of the operations you are conducting," he said. "The work that you're doing, whether its flying strikes into Iraq, supporting coalition efforts in the Arabian Gulf or the work you're doing with other coalition partners … all makes a huge difference. It's consistent with the strategy that we outline in our program as to where we're taking our Navy."
The Arabian Gulf is a body of water more commonly known as the Persian Gulf.
During his address to the crew, Roughead discussed a ground-breaking change-of-command for Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 between Rear Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG)10, and the Royal Bahraini Navy.
"This is the first time that an Arab nation has stepped up to the leadership role," Roughead said. "I believe when we look back at this, it will resound as a significant event in history and you all have been part of that."
CTF 152 is responsible for Maritime Security Operations in the Central and Southern Persian Gulf. Roughead also discussed his top three priorities while aboard Truman.
"Number one, we have to maintain the readiness we have today to ensure you are able to go out and do the job and be ready to do the things that the nation asks of us," he said. "Another aspect is building tomorrow's Navy. And the other part that, to me is the most important, is about people. If we stand on the ship today and look at the airplanes or fly around in helicopters, all of that has no value … until you make [it all] come alive. What you give to our Navy is absolutely irreplaceable."
Truman is underway in the Persian Gulf on a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet. Operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOO are focused on reassuring regional partners of the coalition's commitment to help set conditions for security and stability. U.S. forces maintain a naval and air presence in the region that deters destabilizing activities while safeguarding the region's vital links to the global economy.