December 22nd, 2006 14:41 EST
CNO and MCPON Visit Eisenhower CSG Sailors
ABOARD USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Joe R. Campa, Jr. visited Sailors underway in the Fifth Fleet Area of Operations (AOR) Dec. 21 to bring holiday greetings and to thank the Sailors for the sacrifices they are making.
Their stops in the Persian Gulf included the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), and the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68), before continuing on to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).
One of the CNO`s main objectives was to let Sailors know their efforts are appreciated.
It is great to be at sea again, " said Mullen. I bring with me greetings from a lot of different people that care a great deal about what you`re doing. They express their gratitude for your service, and I want to express mine as well. "
While aboard Anzio, Mullen said, We`re a nation that has been strong because people have decided to serve our country from its inception. There`s not a day that goes by in the job that I`m in, that I don`t think about what you`re doing out here. "
CNO and MCPON hosted all hands calls on both Ike and Anzio to talk to Sailors at the deck-plate level and answer questions.
Mullen discussed a variety of topics, including the importance of Sailors taking care of each other, current operations, the Navy`s way ahead, and leadership principles.
I have to emphasize that we all work on developing our leaders, " said Mullen, while aboard Ike. To lead well, you have to follow early. We must remember who we are as a Navy, emphasizing Honor, Courage, and Commitment. "
Mullen and Campa opened the floor to Ike and Anzio crews, answering questions dealing with many topics, including rating mergers, diversity, physical fitness requirements, and technology advances in the Navy.
While Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) and other online capabilities that we have at our service are good, technology just can`t beat good leadership, " said Campa. Nothing can compare to the eye-to-eye conversations a Sailor should have with a leader. "
Campa also talked with the ships` chief petty officers and outlined his guiding principles.
MCPON told the chiefs to get out and get with their troops, " said Anzio`s Chief Personnel Specialist (SW/AW) Wes Travis. I like his mentality of getting back to deck plate leadership. We invest a lot of time into our troops,and I think with a renewed emphasis on that deck plate leadership, we`re only going to invest more into our future. "
Both Mullen and Campa expressed their pride and gratitude for the Sailors operating at the tip of the spear.
Our three main priorities are the ability to do the mission that we have, to sustain a level of excellence and to operate at a high level, " said Mullen. We`re better now than I`ve ever seen, and I`m proud to be associated with an organization that is this good. "
Giving credit to the families at home, Mullen said, I also have the highest regard and appreciation for the sacrifice that your families are undergoing, and that`s amplified by the time of year. Obviously, over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays is a tough time of year to be away from home, but what it really represents is the sacrifice that has made our country great for a long time. So a priority for me is to make sure that we`re doing all we can to take care of our families in addition to doing all we can to take care of you. "
An added highlight of the visits included the CNO reenlisting crew members on both ships.
It felt great being reenlisted by the CNO, " said Ike`s Chief Operations Specialist Antonio Taylor. My main goal of my reenlistment term is to build better leaders. "
I reenlisted because I like being out at sea, " said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Walter Smith from Ike`s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department. I really liked being reenlisted in the hangar bay in front of everyone by the Navy`s highest ranking officer. "
On Anzio, the CNO also awarded several warfare devices.
It was a good feeling, " said Travis. Not many people can say they got their warfare device pinned on by the Chief of Naval Operations. "
In addition to talking with Sailors and recognizing significant accomplishments, CNO and MCPON visited work spaces on both ships, and on Ike they shared a traditional holiday meal on the mess decks, before flying to Anzio and then to Boxer.
Ike, with embarked Carrier Air Wing Seven and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, and Anzio are part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which departed Naval Station Norfolk on Oct. 3 for a regularly scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations. They entered the Commander, Fifth Fleet area of operations on Oct. 30.
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Leistikow and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Seth Scarlett, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs