NORFOLK, Va. — The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman returned home on June 16, marking the end of its deployment after operating in the U.S. 2nd, 5th and 6th Fleets, the 2nd Fleet said in a release.
Following a return from deployment in March after operating in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleets, Truman remained underway in the western Atlantic during the sustainment phase of the optimized fleet response plan cycle as a certified and ready carrier force, ready for tasking.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, the Truman continued operations underway while minimizing the potential spread of the virus aboard the ship, to maintain maritime stability and security and ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
Truman sailed more than 56,000 nautical miles, deploying dynamically to support dual-carrier operations, air defense exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises and interoperability with joint services and with allies and partners.
The ship also completed multiple strait and choke-point transits, including the Strait of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal and the Bab-el Mandeb Strait, while operating under three combatant commanders: U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
Truman demonstrated the Navy’s continuing regional commitment to the EUCOM and CENTCOM areas of responsibility by hosting 80 embarked guests, including political and military leaders from eight ally and partner nations. These embarks supported U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet theater security objectives and greatly enhanced U.S. relationships and partnerships with multiple NATO ally and partner nations and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members.
“I’m so very proud of all our Sailors!” said Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, commanding officer of the Truman. “Their resilience, perseverance and utter dedication to mission has been nothing short of exemplary. It has been my greatest honor to serve as Truman’s commanding officer this deployment!”
Throughout the deployment, Truman performed numerous training exercises to develop tactical competencies. From carrier strike force operations as the flagship of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, to exercises with partner navies and forces, the ship developed skill sets to maintain readiness and interoperability.
While conducting stability operations in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, the strike group was called upon during an international crisis to assert American commitment to the region and act as a primary catalyst for de-escalation.
“The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group has been the ready force for the nation these past months,” said Rear Adm. Ryan Scholl, commander of Carrier Strike Group 8. “Truman operated closely with our allies and partners, supporting our forward commanders in U.S. 5th and 6th Fleets and executing missions supporting homeland defense in U.S. 2nd Fleet.”
“All the strike group units performed above and beyond what was asked of them and did so with amazing dedication,” Scholl continued. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve with them as their commander!”
In the western Atlantic, the Truman strike group conducted a week of naval air integration exercises with Marine Corps elements assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. The high-end training was conducted to improve Navy and Marine Corps integration, communication, power projection in the form of strikes and enhance readiness of air defense assets.
Truman concluded operations underway by participating in a U.S. Northern Command-led exercise Vigilant Osprey, a major service-integrated homeland defense exercise aimed at strengthening operational partnerships alongside forces from Canada, Denmark and the U.S. Air Force. The joint, multidomain operations with allies in the Atlantic demonstrated North American Aerospace Defense Command’s ability to defend Canada and the U.S. and NORTHCOM’s ability to defend the homeland.
The training operation included aircraft directed by U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) simulating attempts to penetrate U.S. airspace, U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM)-directed capabilities and NORTHCOM using the Truman and her accompanying carrier strike group to exercise combined, high-end, multidomain tactics, techniques and procedures.
Truman, which calls Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, as its homeport, has spent at least one day underway for 32 of the last 36 months in support of global security.
Truman’s return marks the final homecoming for the strike group, which consists of the flagship USS Harry S. Truman with embarked staffs of Carrier Strike Group 8, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28; embarked squadrons of CVW 1; guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy; and DESRON 28 guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Farragut.
Squadrons of CVW-1 include Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11; VFA-81; VFA-136; VFA-211; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137; Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126; Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 11; and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40.