Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight (CCSG-8)
CSG-8 Families and Loved Ones,
Our World, our Nation and our Navy are engaged in truly dynamic times. The coronavirus has forced us to change the way that we live our lives. While I’m certain you are all acutely aware of the impact it has had on your lives at home, it has also impacted us at sea. Normally, after pulling in at the end of a deployment, the CSG would be in a sustainment phase where we would be ready to return to sea should it be required. In this case, there is no way to ensure we would be able to prevent COVID-19 from getting aboard our ships and squadrons after we returned. If COVID-19 infected our units, we would have to go through a process to ensure the health and safety of our Sailors, and remove the virus from our ships. In order to ensure we are able to answer our Nation’s call, the HST Strike Group will be staying at sea a while longer.
I know how much you were all looking forward to the return of your loved one. Rest assured, we are doing everything possible to ensure the health and well-being of your Sailor until we return. It has been over 40 days since our last port call, and no one has been allowed to come aboard our ships since then, so we are sure we are COVID-free. We have the full support of everyone on the waterfront to get us everything that we need. Your Ombudsman and FRGs stand ready as always to support you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out when you need someone to talk to. Although we are asked to be socially distant, please don’t disconnect. Our Sailors treasure their families and you are all the most important means of support. Your love is the light at the end of the tunnel. We will do everything we can to get them home to you safely, and shortly. I will have an update on our timeline in approximately three weeks. Thank you for your support to your Sailor, and your service to our Nation.
– Rear Admiral Andrew Loiselle
Commander Carrier Strike Group 8