Truman Strike Group Completes Eight
Truman Strike Group
Completes Eight-Month Deployment
From Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike
Group Public Affairs.
Norfolk, Virginia — (NNS)
— July 13, 2016 — Approximately 6,000 Sailors from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8
returned home July 13, after completing an eight-month combat deployment.
Eric mans the rails aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)
Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) with embarked
CSG 8 staff, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68),
Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28 staff and guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley
(DDG 84), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) and USS Gravely (DDG 107) pulled into Naval
Station Norfolk following an extended deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas
of operation in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), maritime security
operations and theater security cooperation efforts. USS Ramage (DDG 61) remains
deployed and will return to Norfolk later this month.
The deployment is credited with supporting U.S. strategy to
degrade the Islamic militant group, ISIL. "We received the best training in the
world prior to deployment and were extraordinarily fortunate with the
opportunities that presented themselves over the course of the last eight months.
Being a part of this team, with the standards of professionalism sustained
across the entire crew, is something I will remember and cherish for the rest of
my life," said Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, commander, Carrier Strike Group 8.
As a result of OIR missions, analysts report a significant
reduction in funding operations and estimate up to 45 percent of territory in
Iraq and 20 percent in Syria has been seized from the terrorist force.
"Throughout deployment, more than 200 days at sea, the crew
excelled in every opportunity to deliver direct and positive effects in theater,
especially during Operation Inherent Resolve," said Capt. Ryan B. Scholl,
Truman's commanding officer. "I couldn't be more proud of their performance."
Truman, the carrier strike group's flagship, began deployment
conducting integrated carrier operations with the French Navy's Charles de
Gaulle Strike Group over a six-week period in the Arabian Gulf.
During the coalition fight against ISIL, Truman and embarked
CVW-7 completed 2,054 combat sorties, expending 1,598 pieces of precision
ordnance--the most carrier-based ordnance throughout OIR--to degrade ISIL
resources and leadership. "The close-air-support sorties we conducted supported
coalition forces, taking the fight to ISIL," said Capt. David Little, commander,
CVW-7. "By engaging dynamic terrorist targets and delivering precision guided
ordnance we contributed significantly to the coalition goals of ultimately
Anzio, commanded by Capt. Frank Castellano, served as
Air-Missile Defense Commander and expertly managed the congested battle space in
the Arabian Gulf to enable uninterrupted air strikes in support of OIR. "The
technology employed on board escort vessels, such as Anzio, allowed for early
and accurate identification of inbound air traffic," said Castellano. "This
early identification enabled prompt de-confliction and appropriate action, if
required, to ensure the safety and security of U.S. and partner forces operating
in the region."
Strike group destroyers performed escort and maritime
interdiction missions as well as seven partnership-enhancing exercises. In
addition, Gravely partnered with patrol ship USS Sirocco (PC 6) to seize more
than 1,500 suspected Iranian arms in transport to Houthi Rebels in Yemen.
"The destroyers operating in Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28
conducted operations across a dispersed area, in support of OIR, theater
security cooperation, and other national missions," said Capt. Derek Lavan,
commander, DESRON-28. "In addition to escort duties for Truman, they
demonstrated the Navy's flexibility and adaptability by successfully conducting
simultaneous operations in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation."
In June, the strike group disaggregated to support OIR from
both the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea - marking the first time during
OIR a U.S. carrier conducted air strikes from the Mediterranean. Although
separated by distance, the strike group remained connected through seamless
"I'm extremely proud of the Combat Systems and Information
Operations teams that performed brilliantly during deployment," said Capt. Rod
Burley, information warfare commander. "Their efforts provided, by far, the best
off ship connectivity I've experienced on any deployment. Individual unit teams
worked around the clock to ensure networks were secure, protected, and defended."
"The strike group was successful not only because of its exceptional Sailors,
but because we were all part of a larger team effort," said Batchelder. "We had
incredible collaboration across 65 nations and our joint partners, specifically
the Combined Air and Space Operations Center, which is a testament to the global
priority of OIR."
The squadrons of CVW-7 include the California-based "Wallbangers"
of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, the "Fist of the Fleet" of
Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 25, and the "Patriots" of Electronic Attack
Squadron (VAQ) 140; the Virginia Beach-based "Rampagers" of VFA-83, the "Jolly
Rogers" of VFA-103, the "Pukin' Dogs" of VFA-143, the "Rawhides" of Fleet
Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 and the "Nightdippers" of Helicopter Sea
Combat Squadron (HSC) 5; and the Florida-based "Proud Warriors" of Helicopter
Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72.
Batchelder summarized the feelings of the strike group's
Sailors as CVW-7 launched their fly-off: "We can't thank our families and
friends adequately for the love and support they provided over the entire
deployment. They are patriots in the truest sense of the word and our many
successes were built on their sacrifices and the strength they provided each and
Air Wing aircraft returned to their home stations July 12.
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