BREMERTON, Wash. - Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3 held a change of command ceremony aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) April 5.
Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette relieved Rear Adm. Craig Faller as commander of CSG-3, the command staff for the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group. The strike group is comprised of Stennis, the flag ship, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 and guided-missile cruisers USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and USS Antietem (CG 54).
Under Faller, the strike group completed a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations where they supported Operations Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn, conducted counter-piracy operations in the Horn of Affric and Gulf of Oman, and conducted cooperative engagement exercises with coalition partners.
At the ceremony, Faller said there were three goals the strike group agreed to strive for during his time in command.
"We wanted to be ready, we wanted to be safe and effective, and we wanted to make a difference; and we did those," said Faller. "I thank you, because we did this together."
Vice Adm. Gerald Beaman, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, was the guest speaker at the ceremony.
"The commander of a carrier strike group has an awesome responsibility to prepare young men and women to go in harm's way and then lead them once there," said Beaman. "Craig certainly did that and did that successfully."
Gaouette is reporting to CSG-3 after completing a tour as deputy commander of Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain.
"I feel most welcomed and thoroughly prepared to take on my duties as your commander," said Gaouette. "I am humbled and proud to be serving alongside such seasoned and highly dedicated warriors."
Faller, who was awarded the Legion of Merit medal in recognition of his leadership of CSG-3, will report to U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base as the director for operations.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the eastern Pacific from the west coast of North America to the International Date Line, and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.