CNO: USS Truman’s Persian
Gulf Presence Extended 30 Days
By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. — (DoD
News) — May 02, 2016 — While the 30-day extension of the USS Harry S. Truman
aircraft carrier strike group’s presence in the Persian Gulf is critical to the
campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, it also provides a
broader maritime security, the chief of naval operations said today.
An F/A-18F Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the
aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Persian Gulf, Dec. 28, 2015. Chief
of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson told Pentagon reporters on May 2,
2016, that the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group’s presence in the Gulf has
been extended by 30 days in its continued support of Operation Inherent Resolve
and security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
Navy Adm. John M. Richardson told reporters at the Pentagon
that the continued presence of the Truman -- which he said contributes 20
percent to 25 percent of total airpower there -- is aligned with President
Barack Obama’s acceleration of the campaign to defeat ISIL.
The Truman offers broad maritime security by lending greater
stability to the region, in addition to its intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance component and assurance to U.S. allies in the region, he said.
Navy officials said the Truman has wide-ranging and flexible
mission capabilities, including maritime security operations, expeditionary
power projection, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control,
deterrence, and counterterrorism capabilities. Its embarked air wing can project
tactical air power over sea and inland, and provide sea-based air, surface and
subsurface defense, they added.
‘Not Just About Sorties’
Richardson said the Truman’s extended presence should not be
viewed only in terms of sorties, noting that the strike group and all of its
assigned forces are playing a critical role, “not only in that particular fight,
but in terms of the broader maritime security in the Gulf.”
“We’re very … respectful and grateful to the sacrifices being
made -- not only by the [Truman’s] sailors, but also by their families back
home,” the admiral said, adding that family members are supportive of the 30-day
extension and realize the importance of the mission and the contributions their
sailors are making.
Hong Kong Denies Stennis Entry
In the wake of China’s denial of a port stop in Hong Kong by
the USS John C. Stennis last week, Richardson emphasized that the Nimitz-class
nuclear-powered supercarrier will have “other opportunities to come ashore.” The
carrier will make other ports of call in its dual role to conduct operational
and diplomatic mission, he noted.
“Those port calls are a tremendous contribution to the
diplomatic mission, so we’ll look for another way to execute [it],” Richardson
U.S.-India Maritime Cooperation Grows
With China’s military maritime presence in the Indian Ocean,
Richardson emphasized that the United States and India have a growing close
relationship that has “a nice maritime dimension.”
The chief of naval operations said his trip to India for the
annual International Fleet Review in February comprised 50 nations’ heads of
naval forces and created a “growing awareness of a changing dynamic.”
“You could sense there are a lot of emerging partnerships in
the region as things continue to change there,” he said.
South China Sea Advocacy
Because about 30 percent of the world’s trade passes through
the South China Sea and the region, Richardson noted the importance of
advocating for freedom of navigation and international rules that allow nations
to continue movement freely.
“We’ll continue to work with other partners in region,
including China, to continue advocating for [travel],” he said.
While passage through the South China Sea presents some
complications, “as has been said many times, we’ll continue to fly, operate and
sail wherever international law allows,” Richardson said.
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)
Related Biographies :
Navy Adm. John M. Richardson