A Message From the Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

Dear GHWB Family and Friends,

We are a couple days shy of the mid way point of our scheduled deployment and I’d like to take a few moments to update you on deployment and our team.

As you know, the primary mission of the USS George H.W. Bush and Carrier Air Wing Eight team thus far during deployment has been to support Operation Inherent Resolve – the coalition fight against ISIS. We began in February from the eastern Mediterranean Sea and for the past couple of months have continued that support from the Arabian Gulf. The entire team has performed beautifully. It is both humbling and uplifting to watch them operate on a daily basis.

Concurrently, our Carrier Strike Group Two teammates continue to engage in a myriad of missions within the Gulf and throughout this general operating area to ensure the free flow of commerce on international water and provide the stability that comes with regional security.

In addition to the usual circumstances that come with operating in this region – heavy merchant traffic, restricted sea space, reduced visibility, and a substantial adversary close-by to the east – the temperature is steadily on the rise. Despite these challenges and the fact that our absence from home is approaching four months, the crew remains focused and morale remains high.

I attribute the performance and morale to a number of factors. First and foremost, the talent and dedication of the modern Sailor is simply astonishing. Second, everyone on this team understands the critical nature of the work at hand and is committed to doing their part to achieve victory and lasting stability.

A third absolutely essential ingredient to our success to this point is the unbelievable support we continue to receive from home. Whether it originates from national organizations such as Operation Shower or Turn for Troops, local organizations such as Scouts, churches, and schools, or individual family members and friends, each gesture has profound impact and is deeply appreciated. On behalf of the 4,800 folks embarked on our ship, I thank you all.

The second half of deployment is filled with great promise on both professional and personal fronts. We expect to continue to support Operation Inherent Resolve, the enlisted advancements from the March exam cycle will be announced soon, officer promotion boards are beginning to report results, and the CPO selections will be released before we return home. Additionally, we are planning a swim call, a steel beach picnic, and we have some exciting port visits in our future that provide us the opportunity to showcase our Sailors to our allies and friends – and allow for some fantastic liberty.

In closing, we have much work yet to accomplish and we fully embrace our responsibility to stand a complete and professional watch. Your tremendous support is much appreciated and will remain absolutely critical to our success moving forward. We look forward to being re-united with you soon.

All the best,

Will Pennington