The aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman and its carrier strike group kicked off a scheduled deployment Wednesday, departing from Norfolk, Virginia and Mayport, Florida.
The carrier strike group wrapped up its Composite Training Unit Exercise Oct. 26 to certify as a “combat-ready naval force” that can carry out integrated maritime, joint, and combined operations. According to the Navy, the COMPUTEX was one of the “largest and most complex” the carrier strike group had ever conducted.
“The team within the strike group has come together in an impressive manner these last few months,” Rear Adm. Curt Renshaw, commander of Carrier Strike Group 8, said in a Navy news release. “They have become an integrated, multi-mission team capable of conducting the full spectrum of combat operations to ensure security in the maritime. I have no doubt that we are prepared for any challenge while on this deployment.”
Other exercises the carrier strike group completed leading up to the deployment include the Board of Inspection and Survey and Group Sail.
“During this training cycle, we have learned how to train and fight side by side whether it is onboard the same ship, in the skies, or across the seas,” Capt. Gavin Duff, Truman’s commanding officer, said in a Navy news release. “While we serve as the flag ship, we are never nearly as capable or as strong as we are when we deploy as a strike group.”
The Navy did not disclose where the strike group was headed, but said that it would complete operations across the globe fostering maritime security and stability. The Truman’s last deployment was to the 2nd, 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations.
The strike group includes guided missile destroyers Bainbridge, Cole, Gravely, Jason Dunham, guided-missile cruiser San Jacinto, along with Carrier Air Wing 1 and staff from Carrier Strike Group 8.
Likewise, the Royal Norwegian Navy’s frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen will join the strike group for the duration of the deployment.
The carrier’s last deployment was extended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the carrier, which first got underway in Nov. 2019 and was originally slated to return to Norfolk in April 2020, did not return to its homeport until June 2020.
The ship then headed to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in July 2020 for a maintenance availability that concluded in May 2021. For the first time, the Navy completed an extended incremental availability, which the service said involved “a record-breaking quantity of maintenance work and multiple equipment testing evolutions never previously attempted during a maintenance availability.”