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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group undergoes change of command

06 April 2022
Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, left, relieves Rear Adm. Rick Cheeseman, as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, as Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director, Maritime Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presides during a change of command ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) April 6, 2022.
Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, left, relieves Rear Adm. Rick Cheeseman, as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, as Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director, Maritime Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presides during a change of command ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) April 6, 2022.
Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, left, relieves Rear Adm. Rick Cheeseman, as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, as Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director, Maritime Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presides during a change of command ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) April 6, 2022.
Carrier Strike Group 10 change of command
Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, left, relieves Rear Adm. Rick Cheeseman, as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, as Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director, Maritime Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presides during a change of command ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) April 6, 2022.
Photo By: Brock Vergakis
VIRIN: 220406-N-UD000-1137
Rear Adm. Dennis Velez relieved Rear Adm. Rick J. Cheeseman, Jr. as Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) during a ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on board Naval Station Norfolk April 6, 2022.

Civilian and military guests gathered to bid fair winds and following seas to Cheeseman and welcome Velez as the new commander.

Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director, Maritime Operations, U.S. Fleet Forces Command was the presiding officer at the ceremony. Pyle emphasized the importance of the capabilities the strike group brings in today’s security climate.

“I truly believe that one of the core strengths of our Navy comes from our commitment to the principles underpinning command,” said Pyle. “The authority, responsibility, and accountability of command are absolute, which, in fact, make this ceremony quite distinct.”

Pyle emphasized the importance of the capabilities the strike group brings in today’s climate.

“A strike group’s agility, resilience, and strength, as well as its diverse array of capabilities make it the Navy’s premiere unit of issue,” said Pyle. “Neither China or Russia can replicate it – they can’t train, deploy, and sustain operations with the responsiveness, command and control capability, and multi-dimensional might like that of a U.S. Navy carrier strike group.”

Cheeseman, a native of Carney’s Point, New Jersey, and 1989 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, assumed command of CSG-10 in December 2020. Throughout his speech, Cheeseman lauded the tenacity and dedication to service of all CSG-10 Sailors under his charge.

“How can I not be emotional after developing such a strong bond with 7,566 Sailors whom I am proud to lead,” asked Cheeseman. “Make no mistake, these Sailors understand the challenges ahead and they are neither hesitant nor scared. They are resolute in their preparation for their future mission – whatever that may be.”

Velez, a native of Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, and a graduate of United States Naval Academy arrives as the strike group is preparing for a deployment. He thanked Cheeseman for his devotion to service.

"I know you hate to go, but hopefully you can find satisfaction in the fact that you are leaving behind a legacy of excellence and combat readiness in the entire strike group.”

Valez then addressed the Sailors of CSG-10 for the first time as their new commander.

“I am not sure what the future will bring as we get ready to complete our work ups and deploy overseas, but I know without question that this strike group will be ready to answer our Nation’s call,” said Valez. “I am ready to go to work.”

CSG-10 is an integrated combat weapons system that delivers superior combat capability to deter, and if necessary, defeat America’s adversaries in support of national security and is preparing to deploy as the George H.W. Bush CSG.

The major command elements are the aircraft carrier USS. George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron 26, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and the Information Warfare Commander.
 
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