Message to friends and family members of George H.W. Bush Strike Group (GHWB CSG) from the Commander:

I'd like to start this message by thanking all of the friends and family members of Sailors attached to the GHWB CSG for their love and loyal support throughout this combat deployment. This deployment has already demonstrated the value of Naval Forces to our country and has reinforced the fact that your Navy and Marine Corps team is deployed globally where it matters, when it matters.

'Where it matters, when it matters' was demonstrated as we operated in the Mediterranean and Black Sea at the start of tensions in Ukraine and again was on display as we led the operation that returned a hijacked tanker to Libya. After we transited the Suez Canal and entered the Central Command's Area of Responsibility, we immediately flexed to provide support to security teams in Afghanistan during their election which helped ensure that the citizens of Afghanistan could safely leave their homes and travel to polling stations in order to vote for their next president. Afghanistan just conducted a run-off election and once again, your Navy combat team was where it mattered, when it mattered as our support from the air resulted in record turn outs at the polls which marked a milestone in Afghanistan's progress toward democracy and a peaceful transfer of executive leadership.

As soon as it became apparent that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were marching toward Baghdad, the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group was ordered to reposition to be 'where it matters' and 30 hours later, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103) joined USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) and USS Okane (DDG 77) in the Arabian Gulf, 'where it matters, when it matters.' In times of crisis, Naval Forces operating forward are responsive and provide the decision space and options for the President. That's why we're here and that's what we do. Carrier strike groups bring a physical and political presence that act as a deterrent, and when deterrence fails, we possess credible combat power that provides the assured joint access to fight and win.

The support you show your Sailor is felt out here and makes a significant difference. I couldn't be more proud of our Navy family and our Sailors. I suspect that the decision to postpone George H.W. Bush's next port visit may cause some concerns at home, especially with the friends and family members who were traveling to visit but I also trust that you fully understand.

Naval Forces demonstrate the Chief of Naval Operations' tenets of Warfighting First, Operate Forward and Be Ready daily around the globe, and for us, the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, we embody our Flagship's motto 'Freedom at Work.' That's why we're here and that's what we do.

Sincerely and God Bless,
Rear Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III
Commander, George H.W. Bush Strike Group

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