5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY -- The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and his wife Darleen visited Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), Nov. 20, while underway in the Arabian Gulf.
Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the 30th CNO, enjoyed dinner with Rushmore’s leadership, toured the ship's engineering spaces, and addressed Rushmore's crew during an all-hands call on the ship’s turntable.
"For all of you who work in the engineering department, I had an opportunity to do a walk-through and visit with the folks down there,” said Greenert. “A tip of the hat goes out to all of you. The engineering spaces were clean, and the bilges were some of the best I have ever seen. The ship is looking really good, and I am impressed with how the crew is working hard to keep it ready to operate forward, and in a direction to support any and all 5th Fleet responsibilities."
As part of the all-hands call, Greenert re-enlisted three Sailors, pinned 12 newly qualified Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists and two Surface Warfare Officers, and spoke to the assembled crew about current issues impacting the lives of the Navy and Marine Corps team. Greenert also answered questions on a variety of topics, from uniform changes to manning issues.
“It was an honor to be pinned by the highest ranking officer in the Navy,” said Logistics Specialist Seaman Michael Rodriguez. “This will be an experience that I will remember for the rest of my naval career. It made the pin so much more meaningful.”
The CNO expressed his gratitude for the Sailors hard work, and showed his support toward the smaller class of amphibious ships.
“I am aboard Rushmore today to say thank you to all the Sailors and Marines working hard, and doing an important mission, on the ship,” said Greenert. “What all of you do out here in 5th Fleet is more important than I think you could probably imagine. The international exercise and mission requirements that you all have recently conducted supports powerful coalition partnerships, and enforces our nation's critical maritime security mission."
Rushmore is a part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, with the embarked 15th MEU, and is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.