By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paolo Bayas
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Mar. 20, 2014) – Vice Adm. David Buss, commander, U.S. Naval Air Forces, visited the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), March 19.
During his visit, Buss presented the 2013 Battle Efficiency trophy to Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington’s commanding officer, and the ship’s crew during an all-hands call in the ship’s hangar bay.
“GW give yourself a round of applause,” said Buss. “I want to start with a note of thanks and to tell you I am proud of you. This is like coming home for me. I grew up on Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, so I understand what it means to be a part of a wonderful crew like George Washington. Last year was a remarkable year for this crew and that is why you won the Battle “E”.
George Washington executed Operation Damayan with short notice for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in support of the typhoon-struck Philippine Islands, which eased the suffering and further loss of life. Additionally, despite the demanding operational schedule including an aggressive maintenance availability and six months of deployed operations in Korean theatre, South China Sea and East China Sea, George Washington’s exercises with its partner nations of Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia strengthen the alliance in the Western Pacific.
“You have the secret sauce figured out,” said Buss. “What ever you all are doing as a crew, as a strike group, and as part of the whole naval forces, you are doing it right.”
Sailors aboard George Washington distinguished themselves in every facet of carrier operations during the execution of assigned missions from January to December of 2013. Every department sustained superior performance under the continuous strain of forward-deployed tempo.
“I want to recognize that the crew of George Washington is well-known every where,” said Buss. “I got personal thanks in Tokyo for everything that you do operationally, for being great citizens, neighbors and friends here in Yokosuka and for they way you do business day in and day out. You have set the standard for the entire carrier fleet in the United States Navy. I look forward to tremendous things from you for the rest of 2014.”
According to Fenton, he simply held the award that is meant for George Washington’s crew.
“I appreciate your efforts today and I appreciate your efforts in the future,” said Fenton. “We will make sure that we get this trophy in a public display area so everybody gets a chance to take a look at what you’ve earned. Well done.”