News Category:

Washington: GHWB Holds Change of Command (Pennington, '89)

Posted on 01/22/2018

Washington: US Navy has issued the following news release: 

The aircraft carrier USS George H.W Bush (CVN 77) (GHWB) held a change of command ceremony aboard the ship, Jan. 12.

Capt. Sean Bailey relieved Capt. Will Pennington and assumed duties as the commanding officer of GHWB in a ceremony attended by distinguished visitors, family and crew.

Pennington, United States Naval Academy Class of 1989 and native of Wilton, Iowa, assumed command in October 2015. During his tour, he led GHWB through a planned incremental availability, a demanding work-up cycle and a record-breaking, seven-month deployment to the U.S 5th and 6th fleet areas of responsibility.

During the ceremony, Pennington credited the success of his tour to the teamwork of the warfare commanders and the hard work that the Sailors gave before, during and after deployment.

'I enjoy watching folks perform the high visibility, hazardous and difficult jobs with diligence and professionalism that makes the extraordinary seem routine,' said Pennington. 'To the crew of the finest warship in the fleet, it has been an honor to serve with you. Thank you for letting me be a part of your team.'

Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4, was the guest speaker at the event.

'You left with a crew who most had never seen a deployment, and you returned with hardened, experienced warfighters. You understood the risk, but you also understood that we had a mission to perform. You knew the limits of our performance and you brought everyone home with all of our fingers and toes attached. You built a great team,' said Whitesell to Pennington. 'I noticed very early on that this team could not be defeated!'

Pennington read his orders while being relieved by Bailey.

Bailey, a native of Lansing, Kansas and 1991 graduate of University of Kansas, assumed command of GHWB following previous assignments at Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and as commanding officer of USS Arlington (LPD 24).

'Of all of the Navy's ceremonies, the formal change of command is one of my favorites...while the responsibility and accountability for the ship and crew can be transferred from one captain to the next, the trust and respect of the crew still has to be earned by her new captain,' said Bailey. 'To the men and women of this great warship, I sincerely hope to pick up where Captain Pennington left off.'

GHWB was the first aircraft carrier to support Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) for a second time and expended 907 tons of ordnance, the most expended by a CVN/CVW team since Desert Storm. GHWB is the 10th and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Aircraft carriers provide decisive and sustained airpower to support a full spectrum of mission requirements. 

LOAD-DATE: January 13, 2018 




 LENGTH: 454 words 

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