The Italian Navy Orizzonte/Horizon-class guided-missile destroyer ITS Andrea Doria (D 553) detached from the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG), Dec. 21, 2022, after operating with the strike group throughout the month, showcasing the NATO ship’s interoperability and interchangeability within the Carrier Strike Group.
In preparation for joining the strike group, Doria transited the Strait of Messina where the ship led the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) through the challenging chokepoint between the Italian mainland and the island of Sicily in late November. She later led transits back through the Straits of Messina and Otranto.
Doria worked with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) to complete an air defense exercise (ADEX). Doria served as the air defense commander for the strike group during the ADEX, allowing CVW-7 and Leyte Gulf to test the full range of their air defense capabilities and for the strike group to exhibit not just interoperability, but really interchangeability with U.S. ships.
“ITS Andrea Doria’s Captain and crew performed superbly across a broad range of missions and as a true member of the Strike Group,” said Capt. Stephen Aldridge, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26. “The integration with the Italian Navy has never been better, truly demonstrating the strength of the NATO Alliance.”
Doria’s integration into the strike group also provided the opportunity Sailors to spend time aboard each other’s ships. Sailors from both Doria and George H.W. Bush cross-decked, allowing each to learn more about the other ship and its operations and capabilities.
Beyond Sailor-to-Sailor learning, leadership engagement helped build upon the strong bond between the U.S. and Italian navies.
“Working with Carrier Strike Group 10 has been a great opportunity for my crew and to showcase the interoperability of the NATO alliance at sea,” said Capt. Massimo Petricca, commanding officer of Andrea Doria. “The strike group enabled us to integrate fully and to hone our craftmanship. We look forward to any opportunity to grow stronger together.”
CSG-10 has worked with its Italian allies earlier this deployment, namely the Orizzonte/Horizon-class guided-missile destroyer ITS Caio Duilio (D 554), the Carlo Bergamini-class frigate ITS Carabiniere (F 593), and Cavour CSG. Multicarrier activities with the Cavour CSG and the French Charles de Gaulle CSG demonstrated the coordination of distributed Allied forces to train and operate in a joint, high-intensity security environment across all domains in the European theater.
George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, CVW-7, DESRON-26, the Information Warfare Commander, and Leyte Gulf.
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 the George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.