U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (NNS) -- Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander, U.S. Central Command, spoke to the crew of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during an all-hands call held in the ship's hangar bay, Nov. 25.
During his visit, Austin toured the ship, viewed flight operations and spoke with the ship's Sailors of the year.
Austin expressed his gratitude for their service and explained how Carl Vinson and the rest of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 are impacting Operation Inherent Resolve.
"As you know, we have been in this fight against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) for several months now," said Austin. "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."
Even though many of Carl Vinson's crew members are not afforded the opportunity to see first hand how their day-to-day work effects the fighting on the ground, Austin explained the effect of their work is nothing shy of inspiring.
"Let me assure you that you are making a difference," said Austin. "You are creating the effects that will cause us to be successful. 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."
Austin added that Carl Vinson and CSG 1 have executed strikes against ISIL leaders, vehicles, maintenance facilities and ISIL-controlled oil collection and refineries, disrupting nearly every facet of their operation.
"We will be successful," said Austin. "It will take time, but thanks to this crew's hard work, dedication and professionalism, Operation Inherent Resolve will succeed."