Truman Carrier Strike Group will Replace Eisenhower CSG for Upcoming Deployment

July 2, 2019 7:53 AM
Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group participates in a strait exercise in the Atlantic Ocean on April 7, 2019. US Navy Photo

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and its carrier strike group are getting ready for another deployment overseas, after completing a two-part deployment last year.

The Truman Carrier Strike Group will begin another composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) soon, ahead of a deployment likely this fall.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) would have been the next carrier to head out from the East Coast under previous plans, USNI News understands, but its maintenance availability ran 19 months – more than triple the planned six-month maintenance availability the Navy planned to conduct. USNI News confirmed that the Truman CSG is heading out for its second deployment in the place of the IKE CSG, which will still have to go through its whole training cycle after wrapping up its maintenance and conducting post-maintenance sea trials in early April.

Four sources familar with the planning told to USNI News that the Truman CSG is prepping for this double-pump deployment, which will take place during the strike group’s “sustainment phase” in the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFPR) readiness generation model and will not delay the ship from conducting maintenance of its own. The sustainment phase reserves time for the ships to keep their readiness up through home-based training activities or larger exercises in case they are called upon to surge forward or deploy for other reasons.

The Truman Strike Group last year departed in April, returned home in July for a working homeport visit, and then departed again from September to December. Rather than conducting operations in the Middle East, the carrier strike group conducted flight operations north of the Arctic Circle for the first time since the Cold War, operated in Norwegian waters during the Trident Juncture 2018 exercise, and patrolled the Mediterranean Sea.

Sailors scrub the flight deck after a countermeasure wash down aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) during an underway in the Atlantic Ocean on March 30, 2019. US Navy Photo

This 2019 Truman CSG deployment will be the first to be conducted under the command of U.S. 2nd Fleet, USNI News understands. 2nd Fleet officially declared itself operationally capable on May 29, and its first mission was to command the BALTOPS 2019 exercise in the Baltic Sea. The fleet, headquartered in Norfolk, will command the CSG, though details have not been released yet regarding where the strike group will go and if it will be one continuous deployment or be broken up again like last year’s.

2nd Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Ashley Hockycko told USNI News that “the Navy does not discuss specific details of future operations. Under the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, units in the sustainment phase are able to deploy if called upon. Since returning from deployment, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group has maintained the level of readiness to deploy wherever the nation needs.”

Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is the former deputy editor for USNI News.

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