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The formal ceremony started with presentation of the Italian and U.S. colors on the George H. W. Bush’s aircraft elevator, followed by formal remarks by Munsch and U.S. Embassy Rome Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Shawn Crowley.
“The work between our two countries rests at the core of our collective defense approach for a new era – one we came alive to when Russia attacked its neighbor without provocation, threatening European security in ways we would have previously thought inconceivable,” said Adm. Stuart B. Munsch, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Allied Joint Force Command Naples. “Bush recently sailed alongside Italian aircraft carrier Cavour in the Ionian Sea, displaying for the world the firm foundation of trust, deep interoperability and warfighting advantage our combined naval forces represent.”
The port visit is possible because of the strong U.S.-Italian partnership, and serves to highlight positive navy-to-navy bilateral cooperation while enhancing the maritime security and prosperity in Europe and interoperability as NATO allies.
The officials, politicians, military officers, and spouses who attended the reception hosted by NAVEUR-NAVAF aboard George H.W. Bush, forged friendships, built bonds, shared latest developments and discussed lessons learned within the European theater of operations.
“The presence of this ship and Carrier Strike Group 10 in the Mediterranean is a sign of our strong commitment to the bilateral relationship with Italy and to the NATO Alliance,” said Crowley. “The George H.W. Bush has been operating alongside the Italian carrier Cavour and the French carrier Charles de Gaulle. These operations strengthen NATO’s cohesion and interoperability.”
Munsch expressed gratitude for the opportunity for the George H.W. Bush crew to explore the rich history and culture of the Campania region.
“Bush’s visit provides our Sailors a wonderful opportunity to explore your amazing city's history, culture and cuisine after some long days at sea alongside ships of the Italian Navy and those of our other Allies and partners – something for which we are truly grateful,” said Munsch.
George H.W. Bush is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.