06/18/2011: Nearly 5,000 Sailors of George H.W. Bush and its embarked airwing will spend several days visiting the Spanish port and nearby towns through tours offered by the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department. Cartagena is the second overseas port call for George H.W. Bush, which recently completed a four-day visit to Portsmouth, England….. For at least one Sailor serving aboard George H.W. Bush, Cartagena is much closer to home than the ship’s homeport of Norfolk, Va. Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Isabel Ruiz was born in Pilar de La Horadada, located a short drive from Cartagena. She plans on visiting her three brothers, two sisters and niece during the port visit. “All I really want to do is to see my family,” she said. “I go back every other year or so, but it is nice to do it while out on deployment.”
George H.W. Bush Sailors will be joined in Cartagena by Sailors from the Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón (F 102). Borbón has been a coalition member of George H.W. Bush Strike Group since September 2010, and will depart from the strike group shortly after the port call for a national tasking. “It is a pity that the carrier has to anchor out at sea,” said Cmdr. Benigno Gonzalez-Aller, Borbón commanding officer. “But I am sure the citizens of Cartagena will quickly know that the carrier is anchored nearby when they see the Sailors running ashore.” Borbón is only the second Spanish ship to serve with a U.S. carrier strike group. Gonzalez-Aller said training with the U.S. has been tremendously effective.“We will never get a better scenario to train ourselves,” he said, adding that the opportunity to share the last port call with the strike group in Spain was a fitting end.“It is something great,” he said. “Something I could not have dreamed of.” George H.W. Bush departed its homeport of Norfolk, Va., May 11, and entered the 6th Fleet area of responsibility May 17.
Video credit: US Naval Visual Service:6/9/11