US Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite announced the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) will return to homeport by mid-June while visiting the crew and embarked Carrier Air Wing 1.
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The HSTCSG, comprised of flagship Truman, Ticonderoga Class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), and USS Farragut (DDG 99), has been extended multiple times with some of the ships on month nine of their deployment.
While aboard Truman, Secretary Braithwaite toured the ship, observed flight operations, spoke with Sailors of all ranks, and addressed part of the crew in the ship’s hangar bay. During his address, Secretary Braithwaite announced his awarding of the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal to all members of the strike group.
Secretary Braithwaite said, “The [Chief of Naval Operations] and I are beyond proud of everything you have done, for you to continue to be out here ever vigilant and ever prepared. I know what it’s like to be deployed away from the ones you love. I want you to all know how much that means to not only people like me in leadership roles, but more importantly, people in America. You are the tip of the spear.”
In addition to visiting the carrier, Secretary Braithwaite met with Sailors aboard Normandy and thanked them for their inherent flexibility, remaining ready to respond to emergent tasking around the globe, and for supporting CSG operations with partners and allies.
“This entire strike group deserves to be recognised. For the rest of your service and the rest of your lives, you can look down at your service ribbons and remember this deployment for its distinct contribution to our national security,” Secretary Braithwaite added.
The HSTCSG will return home following a successful deployment supporting maritime security and stability in the US 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Fleet areas of operation. The ships had remained at sea in the western Atlantic, where it served as a certified CSG force ready for any tasking while also protecting its crews from the risks posed by COVID-19.
The Secretary and his staff adhered to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines during these visits, when feasible. Guests were previously tested for COVID-19 and passed a medical screening prior to this trip to ensure safety for the crews.
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is the eighth Nimitz Class aircraft carrier of the US Navy, named after the 33rd president of the US, Harry S. Truman.
Truman provides a wide range of flexible mission capabilities to include maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence, counter-terrorism, information operations and security cooperation.
The ship’s embarked air wing is capable of projecting tactical air power over the sea and inland, as well as providing sea based air, surface and subsurface defence capabilities.