Leyte Gulf joined Italian allies to assume tactical control of F/A-18F Super Hornets attached to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, embarked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush (CVN 77 ).
“The George HW Bush Carrier Strike Group has created a tremendous opportunity for our watch watchers to increase their skills, as well as for our partners,” said Capt. Michael Weeldreyer, commanding officer of Leyte Gulf. “Exercises like this ADEX are critical to maintaining our ability to integrate seamlessly with our regional partner and allies.”
Air intercept controllers from Leyte Gulf and Caio Duilio practiced taking control of carrier aircraft during a series of tactical overflights.
“This event was a great opportunity to demonstrate the combat capabilities that our Italian partners bring to the NATO alliance,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Dennison, air warfare officer aboard Leyte Gulf. “They demonstrated seamless integration during a tough event executed on short notice.”
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush (CVN 77) is the flagship of CSG-10 and the George HW Bush Carrier Strike Group. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, Commander Information Warfare, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf ( GC 55).
DESRON 26 ships within CSG-10 are USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) .
The Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 squadrons on board the George HW Bush are the “Sidewinders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, the “Jolly Rogers” (VFA) 103, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.
The GHWBCSG is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by the U.S. 6th Fleet to defend the interests of the United States, allies, and partners.