CVN 72 Deployment

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits the Arabian Sea.

Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL), Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, spoke at the Lexington Institute’s Carrier Strike Group Working Forum at the Ritz-Carlton n Washington, D.C. Sept. 27.

In addition to Kelley, nearly 60 retired admirals, congressional staff members, defense and industry leaders attended the forum to discuss the role of aircraft carriers as guarantors of national security.

Kelley, a carrier aviator and a carrier Sailor, discussed his responsibilities as CNAL and inherent key role his type command (TYCOM) has in supporting national defense and maritime security.

“My job is to ensure that our aircraft carriers, aircraft, and the men and women who operate them have the tools, training, and supplies they need to sail in support of national defense and maritime security,” said Kelley, who spoke with forum attendees on the important defense role aircraft carriers provide.

Prior to assuming command of CNAL, Kelley commanded the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, and is reminded daily in his current role of the commensurate range and depth of combat capabilities that carriers provide.

“America needs aircraft carriers,” said Kelley. “Carriers deploy and redeploy with the responsiveness, endurance, multi-dimensional might, inherent battlespace awareness, and command and control capabilities that America needs to prevail in great power competition.”

Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, headquartered at Naval Support Activity, Hampton Roads, is responsible for four nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, 54 aircraft squadrons, 1,200 aircraft and 50,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel based on the East Coast of the United States. It provides combat ready, sustainable naval air forces with the right personnel, properly trained and equipped, with a focus on readiness, operational excellence, interoperability, safety, and efficient resourcing.