Nearly 6,500 Sailors of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) will depart Norfolk the morning of April 11, for a regularly-scheduled deployment.
Deploying ships and aircraft of the strike group, commanded by Rear Adm. Gene Black, include flagship USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), commanded by Capt. Nick Dienna. The nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1; guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60); and guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron Two Eight (DESRON 28), including USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), and USS Farragut (DDG 99). The Sachsen-class German frigate FGS Hessen (F 221) is also operating as part of the strike group during the first half of the deployment. Guided-missile destroyers USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) are slated to deploy from their homeports and rejoin the strike group at a future date.
Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, commanded by Capt. John Perrone, embarked on Truman include Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 “Red Rippers;” VFA-211 “Checkmates;” VFA-81 “Sunliners;” VFA-136 “Knighthawks;” Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137 “Rooks;” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126 “Seahawks;” Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72 “Proud Warriors;” Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 11 “Dragon Slayers;” and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”
While deployed, the strike group will operate in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts alongside allies and partners. The deployment is part of a regular rotation of forces to provide crisis response capability and increase theater security cooperation and forward naval presence in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.
The nuclear aircraft carrier will replace the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which ended its four-month deployment in the Middle East last month and is now deployed in the Pacific. The mission, therefore, will be aimed at maritime safety and to continue working with allies and partners in the fight against security threats.
For the Truman, it will not be the first time in the Mediterranean and in the Middle East. The last employment in the area was in 2015 during the operation, anti-ISIS, Inherent Resolve. The Navy combat aircraft embarked on that occasion have flown more than 27,000 hours, making 9,500 missions of which, 1461 against Daesh.