Ships of the US Navy’s Harry S. Truman carrier strike group (HSTCSG) returned to Naval Station (NS) Norfolk on July 21 after a shortened three-month deployment.
Some 6,500 sailors from aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and strike group ships USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) operated in the US 5th and 6th fleets areas of responsibility during the three months.
US Navy aircraft carrier deployments usually span seven months at a time but Harry S. Truman carrier strike group units returned home under a new dynamic force employment concept which will allow the US Navy to be operationally unpredictable while remaining strategically predictable.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this strike group team’s performance over more than three months of operating in a highly-dynamic environment across two theaters,” said HSTCSG Commander Rear Adm. Gene Black. “We carried out the full spectrum of missions from sustained combat flight operations to training and integration with NATO allies and regional partners.”
Black also emphasized that the strike group remains ready to surge forward or redeploy when called upon.
“Our strike group’s missions have demonstrated we are inherently maneuverable and flexible while remaining operational unpredictable to any potential adversary,” said Black. “This epitomizes the Navy’s dynamic force employment concept and shows this strike group is ready and capable of accomplishing any mission, at any time, as our nation directs.”
While in Norfolk, the strike group will not only conduct routine maintenance on ships, aircraft and equipment, but Sailors will also be able to continue advanced training, maintain warfighting certifications, as well as spend time with family and friends.
While deployed, the strike group participated in a variety of partnership and interoperability exercises, as well as maritime and theater security operations. Strike group units participated in exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) from the Adriatic Sea and exercise Lightning Handshake with the Moroccan Navy and Air Force.