This blog post, written on Sunday August 28, 2011, is the third in a series by Rear Admiral Craig Faller, Commander Carrier Strike Group 3 . USS John C. Stennis is currently on a seven-month deployment in the Pacific.
A key capability of our combat power is the ability to strike anywhere, anytime with credible and flexible power from tomahawk cruise missiles to advanced bombs from our carrier based aircraft. In the photo I am standing on the forward missile launcher of the USS DEWEY (DDG 105) addressing the crew, underway, in the Philippine Sea. That launcher is loaded with many powerful, long range missiles but the real power of our Navy are the people standing forward of me. Another key mission for us is conducting port visits where we interact with foreign militaries through training and exercises and also enjoy some time off. We were in fact scheduled to have a port visit in Manila, which was canceled because of bad weather. Often in foreign ports we must anchor several miles from land due to the size of the aircraft carrier, when this happens and the wind kicks up, the small boats needed to transport our Sailors back and forth ashore are unable to operate. In this recent case the weather forecast called for days of high winds, so we were forced to cancel the visit. I know the Sailors were disappointed. We have over 200 Filipino-American* Sailors in our Strike Group, many with families in the Philippines. Captain Ron Reis, the Commanding Officer of the John C. Stennis, and I did our best to explain why we made this decision based on safety. We have a good team with very passionate capable officers and Chief Petty Officers who will carry this message to all hands.
Well it’s now 28 August and we have settled into a battle rhythm…with each and every day making us ready, bringing us closer to home and reminding us of the things that are most important in life.
*Updated with correct spelling on August 30, 2011