Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Vice Adm. Gerald R. Beaman, visited Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 and the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) April 9.
Nimitz and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 are currently engaged in a Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
The day-long visit to the underway strike group provided Beaman the opportunity to stop in on the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and visit an operational carrier, for the last time prior to his retirement this coming summer.
Beaman spent time on Nimitz’ mess decks along with the ship’s chain of command to partake in ice cream with Sailors during a ship-wide social event and all hands call.
“I have to tell you, thank you,” said Beaman. “I want to thank each and every one of you for raising your right hand and volunteering to serve your country.”
Beaman went on to express appreciation to Sailors taking care of themselves, their families, and each other while still performing to a high standard for the past year.
“It was incredible, the level of the bar that you set and the matrix you blew out of the water during COMPTUEX (Composite Training Unit Exercise) and JTFEX (Joint Task Force Exercise),” said Beaman.
Much of Beaman’s address centered on his gratitude to the overall demonstration of dedicated hard work over the past several months and encouragement to crew members to maintain a high level of performance for the approaching months.
“Never for a moment think that you don’t make a difference. I wish I could stand here and tell you exactly what you will find yourselves doing when you head west,” he said making direct eye contact around the crowd.
CSG 11 is expected to enter the 5th Fleet area of operation and will be ready to conduct operations, said Beaman.
“We have the utmost confidence and we are very comfortable telling people that Warrior Team 11 is the team they want on the front line,” he said.
Beaman answered questions from Nimitz Sailors on a variety of topics ranging from sequestration, his call sign, and his personal experiences during his 35 years in the service.
The all hands call concluded with positive words from the admiral.
“Thank you for what you do. Good luck and God bless,” he said.
Naval Today Staff, April 11, 2013; Image: US Navy