11/19/2015: The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) departs Naval Station Norfolk.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deploying in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
With Harry S. Truman as the flagship, strike group assets include the embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28 and ships USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Gravely (DDG 107), and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66).
Credit:Navy Media Content Services:11/17/15
Editor’s Note: A good overview of the departure of the Truman strike group was provided by Ali Rockett of the Daily Press and published on November 16, 2015:
The aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman and its strike group left Naval Station Norfolk Monday for a deployment set to start in the Middle East as U.S. and coalition forces increase strikes on Islamic State militants, who have claimed credit for last week’s attacks in Paris.
The Truman is expected to reach the Persian Gulf before the year’s end. The U.S. has been launching air strikes into Iraq and Syria from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf — at least until last month, when the USS Theodore Roosevelt left the area after an extended deployment.
The two-month gap is the first in nearly a decade that the U.S. has had no carrier in the region.
While the Truman’s departure date was set more than a year ago, it came about six months earlier than first planned. In October 2014, it was announced that the ship would switch deployment cycles with the Norfolk-based USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which required an additional 10 months in the shipyard.
This means the 3,000 sailors aboard the Truman readied the ship for deployment in about half the normal time.
Another 2,000 sailors are attached to the carrier’s flotilla, which includes guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, and guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley, USS Gravely and USS Gonzalez, the Navy said. Carrier Air Wing 7, with nine squadrons, is also assigned to the group.
The seven-month deployment will also include operations in the waters around Europe and Africa.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage also departed Norfolk Monday for an eight-month deployment in the Middle East. It will be independent of the carrier strike group and will provide ballistic missile defense, according to the Navy.