US Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman will return to its Norfolk homeport in June after some eight months at sea, the US Navy secretary has announced.
The deployment of the carrier strike group, comprised of flagship Truman, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy, and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Lassen, USS Forrest Sherman, and USS Farragut, has been extended multiple times with some of the ships on month nine of their deployment.
The deployment lasted longer than initially scheduled due to a combination of factors that included the COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined sister ship USS Theodore Roosevelt for over two months and a delay in getting other Nimitz-class ship underway after maintenance.
By the time it returns to Norfolk, the USS Harry S. Truman will have spent an impressive 15 months on operations in a little over two years. The navy is pioneering a new deployment model with the carrier – called dynamic force employment – that is designed to allow the service to be operationally unpredictable while remaining strategically predictable.
Truman’s return home was announced by Kenneth J. Braithwaite on board the carrier during what was his first official trip since taking the oath of office as the Secretary of the Navy on May 29.
“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,” said Braithwaite. “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.”
The HSTCSG will return home following a 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 it’s crews from the risks posed by COVID-19.