Commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic Visits USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

Commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic Visits USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

The commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, visited the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) during the ship’s deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and maritime security in the region, Oct. 16-17.

Rear Adm. Ted N. Branch came to Ike to express his gratitude for all the hard work the team has put in to accomplish the mission and to hear from Sailors about how Naval Air Force Atlantic could better equip the force for fleet tasking.

While aboard Ike, Branch toured spaces and conducted an all hands call. He also met with senior leadership to get feedback on the readiness levels and operational stresses that the ship and air wing team face while on deployment.

“I appreciate what you are doing and the families back home appreciate what you are doing,” said Branch at the all hands call to members of Ike and the air wing. “Everybody back home is pulling for you and I came out here so that you know that.”

Branch also expressed to the crew how much he and the Naval Air Force Atlantic command wanted to support to Ike to stay mission ready.

“I am here to find out what I can do to help you do your jobs and achieve the mission. I want to know what’s on your mind,” said Branch.

Branch also had an opportunity during his visit to participate in a birthday ceremony that commemorated the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s birthday and the ship’s commissioning.

The ceremony, showcasing the long history of the carrier, displayed the longevity of the Ike throughout the years. Such continued superior performance of the carrier was a testament to the material and training readiness standards that are cornerstones of Naval Air Force Atlantic.

The sacrifices you, the Sailors, make in the heat of this region, supporting the troops on the ground and keeping the sea lanes open, these are the things you do as Sailors in the Navy and you are all doing it well,” said Branch. “Don’t think anyone doesn’t know about the sacrifices you, the Sailor, and your families are making, and don’t think for a second that people don’t appreciate it. It is important work and you are all doing an outstanding job.”

Those who attended the all-hands call with Branch were appreciative of his visit.

“He explained a lot of what was going on in the Navy,” said Seaman Benny Hernandez from Deck department. “During the all hands call, he gave us a chance to ask a few questions and he put out a lot of important information.”

Eisenhower and the squadrons of CVW-7 are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Naval Today Staff,October 18, 2012; Image: US Navy