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NAVAL STATION NORFOLK – Capt. David-Tavis M. Pollard relieved Capt. George R. Aguilar as Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) during a ceremony May 19, 2022.
Civilian and military guests gathered to bid fair winds and following seas to Aguilar after a remarkable 30-year career in the Navy, and welcome Pollard.
Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 and George H.W. Bush CSG, presided over the ceremony. Velez emphasized the importance of the capabilities the aircraft carrier brings to the carrier strike group.
“The mark of a strong team – the currency that really matters in the profession of arms – is trust,” said Velez. “Nothing is more important, and you’ve delivered trust through your leadership and prioritization of your team’s development, operating safely, and operational excellence.
He also commended Aguilar on his career in service to the Navy.
“I think it’s a fair bet that a younger Robert Aguilar had no idea 30-plus years ago that he’d one day be the first Texan to lead the aircraft carrier named after President George H.W. Bush,” said Velez. “For the young Sailors in the crowd today, today is an example of where grit, determination, humility, and service can lead you in the U.S. Navy and the United States of America.”
Aguilar, a native of Natalia, Texas, and graduate of Texas Tech University, assumed command of George H.W. Bush in May 2020. During his speech, he lauded the readiness of George H.W. Bush Sailors.
“We have formed a team comprised of three staffs, six ships, 70 aircraft, and more than 7,000 hard-charging, well-trained American Sailors who will be victorious in our pursuit of Peace through readiness,” said Aguilar. “The officers, chiefs, and Sailors of George H.W. Bush are deployment ready. They will perform and fight and win.”
Pollard, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, and a graduate of United States Naval Academy arrives as George H.W. Bush is preparing for a deployment with CSG-10.
“My vision is to develop you as warriors to be the teachers, leaders, and ambassadors of your families, communities, our ship, the strike group, the United States Navy, and the United States of America,” said Pollard. “Together, we will embody the legacy of service, grit, humility, and resilience of our namesake – President George H.W. Bush… Each of you is an essential member of the Avenger Team and a key to our success. There is nothing we cannot accomplish together.”
George H.W. Bush provides the national command authority flexible, tailorable war fighting capability as the flagship of the carrier strike group which maintains maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
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. Its 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.