Aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman concludes eight-month deployment

Sailors man the rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as it returns to homeport at Naval Station Norfolk. Photo: US Navy
Sailors man the rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as it returns to homeport at Naval Station Norfolk. Photo: US Navy

The U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, together with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8 and some 6,000 sailors overall, returned home on July 13 following an eight-month deployment.

Truman pulled into Naval Station Norfolk along with guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) and guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley, USS Gonzalez and USS Gravely.

The ships were on an extended deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the U.S. mission aimed at destroying Daesh terrorists in the Middle East.

According to the navy, USS Ramage (DDG 61) is still deployed and will return to Norfolk later this month.

“We received the best training in the world prior to deployment and were extraordinarily fortunate with the opportunities that presented themselves over the course of the last eight months,” said Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, commander, Carrier Strike Group 8.

As a result of OIR missions, analysts report a significant reduction in funding operations and estimate up to 45 percent of territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria has been seized from the terrorist force.

Truman, the carrier strike group’s flagship, began deployment conducting integrated carrier operations with the French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle Strike Group over a six-week period in the Arabian Gulf.

During the coalition fight against ISIL, Truman and embarked CVW-7 completed 2,054 combat sorties, expending 1,598 pieces of precision ordnance–the most carrier-based ordnance throughout OIR–to degrade ISIL resources and leadership.

“The close-air-support sorties we conducted supported coalition forces, taking the fight to ISIL,” said Capt. David Little, commander, CVW-7. “By engaging dynamic terrorist targets and delivering precision guided ordnance we contributed significantly to the coalition goals of ultimately destroying ISIL.”

Anzio, commanded by Capt. Frank Castellano, served as Air-Missile Defense Commander and managed the battle space in the Arabian Gulf to enable uninterrupted air strikes in support of OIR.

Strike group destroyers performed escort and maritime interdiction missions as well as seven partnership-enhancing exercises. In addition, Gravely partnered with patrol ship USS Sirocco (PC 6) to seize more than 1,500 suspected Iranian arms in transport to Houthi Rebels in Yemen.

In June, the strike group disaggregated to support OIR from both the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea – marking the first time during OIR a U.S. carrier conducted air strikes from the Mediterranean.

Although separated by distance, the strike group remained connected through seamless communications.

“I’m extremely proud of the Combat Systems and Information Operations teams that performed brilliantly during deployment,” said Capt. Rod Burley, information warfare commander. “Their efforts provided, by far, the best off ship connectivity I’ve experienced on any deployment. Individual unit teams worked around the clock to ensure networks were secure, protected, and defended.”

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