The Navy plans to deploy USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on Monday from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. to the Middle East and the Mediterranean, Navy officials told USNI News on Thursday.
Truman — along with Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), USS Mason (DDG-87) and Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG-64), USS San Jacinto (CG-56) — will relieve the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG), which is currently in the Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet area of operations.
Truman was sidelined in February, following intense budget debates in Washington over Pentagon funding due to the sequestration cuts of the 2011 Budget Control Act and a now settled Continuing Resolution that cut into the service’s operations and maintenance accounts.
Carrier aviation assets have been responsible for up to a third of the sorties over Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Navy’s February move resulted in reducing carrier presence to a lone carrier in the Middle East and resulted in an extra deployment for the Eisenhower CSG, which recently returned to its homeport in Norfolk.
The Truman CSG will arrive in the Middle East in mid-August, officials told USNI News. The Nimitz CSG will return to the West Coast through the Navy’s 7th fleet based in Japan.