CSG 8 changes command

Photo: US Navy

Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8 held a change of command in the hangar bay aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Sept. 5

Commander, US Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Phil Davidson, and over 100 guests were on hand to see Rear Adm. Gene Black relieve Rear Adm. Dale Horan as commander, Carrier Strike Group 8. Along with offering compliments to the job Horan had done as CSG-8, Davidson provided advice to each current and prospective commander in attendance.

“Commanders and commanding officers, the mission is what you are here for,” said Davidson. “Please don’t believe that your service is about a few moments in combat. Your service is about getting up every day, putting on that uniform, coming to work and plunging into the line for that quarter-inch gain. Whether you do this for four years or 44 years, that’s what you’re in for. That’s what will be expected of you and that’s what will be expected of your people. That is indeed service – service to the country.”

Horan assumed command of CSG-8 in July 2016, a strike group comprised of 10 ships and one air wing. As commander he led Truman through a 10-month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), as well as successful Sea Trials and Flight Deck Certification periods. Under his leadership, Truman became the first aircraft carrier to successfully complete a PIA on-time in nearly a decade.

Horan’s next assignment will be as Director, Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration Office.

Black, who most recently served as Deputy Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, only spoke briefly, but took time to reach out to his new team.

“To the men and women of this strike group – thank you for the warm welcome,” said Black. “I am thrilled to serve with you and I am thrilled to be back at sea. I very much look forward to meeting all of you in the coming weeks and months.”

In the fleet, Black served as commanding officer of guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87). He served as executive officer of USS Ramage (DDG 61) and the Weapons and Combat Systems Officer aboard USS Normandy (CG 60). In addition, he was the Fire Control Officer aboard USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and the Combat Information Center Officer and Damage Control Assistant aboard guided-missile frigate USS Gallery (FFG 26).

CSG-8’s subordinate commands include Truman, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, guided-missile cruisers USS Normandy (CG 60) and USS Anzio (CG 68) as well as ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron 28; guided-missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109).

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