The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group entered the U.S. 6th fleet area of operations Wednesday, the region where less than a week ago U.S., British and French forces launched air strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities.
The Truman CSG left Norfolk on April 11 for a regularly scheduled deployment to both the 6th Fleet and 7th Fleet areas of operation. Along with sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, the strike group is expected to also operate in the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf during this deployment.
“We are thrilled to have the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group here in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations and look forward to having them on our team as we conduct the full spectrum of maritime operations to include working alongside our NATO allies and regional partners. Our U.S. 6th fleet motto is ‘Power for Peace,’ and there is no more recognizable symbol of American naval power than a carrier strike group. Their presence in this vital region is a reflection of our commitment to a safe, prosperous and free Europe and Africa,” said Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, the U.S. 6th Fleet commander in a release.
In the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, three facilities that were part of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons program were hit by a coordinated set of U.S., French, and British airstrikes. A total of 105 missiles were launched from both ships and aircraft operating in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf.
In the Eastern Mediterranean, Virginia-class attack boat USS John Warner (SSN-785) launched six Tomahawks and French frigate Languedoc (D-653) fired three of the naval variant of the SCALP land attack cruise missiles, according to Navy officials. British and French aircraft also fired missiles while flying in the region.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group includes USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60), and guided-missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), USS Farragut (DDG-99), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98), USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81). German frigate FGS Hessen (F-221) is also joining the Truman CSG for this deployment.
The Truman CSG includes twice the number of ships that were part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike group that operated in the same regions a year ago. The Bush CSG included USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon(DDG-58) and USS Truxtun (DDG-103); and guided missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and USS Hue City (CG-66).