The general in charge of the U.S. Central Command in the Middle East praised sailors and airmen aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson for a “better than seamless” replacement of another flattop, the Navy reported Wednesday.
The Vinson, famous for being the place where the body of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was taken for burial-at-sea, took over in the Arabian Gulf from the USS George H.W. Bush a little over a month ago. Aircrews have since been flying missions against Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
“As you know, we have been in this fight against ISIL for several months now,” said Centcom commander Gen. Lloyd Austin III. “Carl Vinson’s transition into the theater was, quite frankly, better than seamless. This team has been executing well above the standard, even beyond imagination, ever since the ship has been in theater.”
The Army general toured the ship, viewed flight operations and spoke with the ship’s sailors of the year, according to the Navy.
Austin told the crew that they were making a difference in the fight.
“You are creating the effects that will cause us to be successful,” Austin said. “ISIL wants to be perceived as invincible. However, due to the hard work of the crew of Carl Vinson and the relentless force they bring to the fight, ISIL can no longer do that. The tide is turning.”
According to the general, aircraft from the Vinson, which left San Diego in August, have struck ISIL leaders, vehicles, maintenance facilities, ISIL- controlled oil collection and refineries, and disrupted nearly every facet of their operation.
The guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill and guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley, USS Sterett and USS Dewey are accompanying the carrier, which is named after Carl Vinson, who served in Congress for 50 years, including 29 as chairman of the House Naval Affairs and Armed Services Committee.
— City News Service
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