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News | Nov. 3, 2022

George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Arrives in Split, Croatia

By Carrier Strike Group 10 Public Affair

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) – along with the embarked staff of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush CSG arrived in Split, Croatia, for a regularly scheduled port visit Nov. 3, 2022.

The port visit provides an opportunity to enhance the strong U.S.-Croatian partnership as the two nations work together for a stable, secure, and prosperous Europe, and allow the Sailors of George H.W. Bush CSG a chance to experience Croatian culture.

“Our ability to deter aggression and defend the alliance is stronger when we work together with our allies and partners like Croatia,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. “Our Sailors have worked with and shared cultural exchanges with Croatian Sailors and people throughout our deployment. Just recently, USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) sailed with the Croatian missile boat Dubrovnik (RTOP-42) during the recent NATO vigilance activity Neptune Strike 22.2. But most importantly, the Croatian government provided safety for a number of our aviators and aircraft early in deployment when they needed to divert due to weather. That speaks to the Croatian spirit and the imperative of relationships in our collective defense.”

George H.W. Bush is anchored off the coast, and will host local officials and key leaders for a reception to honor the U.S.-Croatian relationship. Additionally, Sailors from the ship will take much deserved time off to experience Croatian culture in and around Split.

“The warriors of Team Jackpot – our leaders, teachers, and ambassadors - all know the important responsibility we each have to represent our families, cities, states, and nation with professionalism and dignity as we enjoy the opportunity to explore all Croatia has to offer,” said Capt. Dave Pollard, commanding officer of George H.W. Bush. “I was fortunate to bring a few hundred Sailors to Split in 2021 as commanding officer of USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), and I’m grateful to bring the nearly 5,000 Sailors embarked aboard George Herbert Walker Bush to enjoy it today.”

The ship’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) team arranged a variety of tours for Sailors to experience the area including rafting the Cetina River, hiking the Sibenik and Krka Waterfalls, and additional tours throughout the region.

Sailors will also have the opportunity to participate in two Thousand Points of Light community relations events organized with and through local officials at two local kindergartens – a nod to President George H.W. Bush’s inaugural address and the service-oriented organization that exists still today.

Strengthening partnerships during the port visit to Split builds enduring relationships and emphasizes our shared commitment to promoting safety and stability within the region, while seeking opportunities to enhance our interoperability as NATO allies.

U.S. Navy ships frequently stop in Croatia for maintenance and mutual security operations. Croatia is a hub for U.S. Navy cooperation, with the port city of Rijeka economically benefiting from over a billion Kuna in contracted services since 2011.

CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG, 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.

George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. George H.W. Bush CSG is comprised of George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).

The ships of DESRON-26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).

The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Jolly Rogers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.

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.