RED SEA — U.S. carrier-based naval aviation returned to the region Dec. 14, as the ships and embarked squadrons of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) completed a transit through the Suez Canal and entered U.S. 5th Fleet's area of operations.
Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, commander of CSG-8, said he feels that following the workup cycle the strike group is prepared to conduct any mission.
"We had a highly successful month in the 6th Fleet area of operation culminating with a successful Suez transit," said Batchelder. "This region offers many opportunities to collaborate with partners and allies. Our combined efforts, resources and shared experiences foster a more stable and prosperous region."
Sailors aboard Truman viewed the Egyptian coastline as the ship transited the 120-mile long artificial channel connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Following the passage, the crewmembers received certificates recognizing the accomplishment.
Truman's arrival marks the first carrier strike group in the region since the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) departed the 5th Fleet in October.
The 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of the Middle East's maritime reaches and includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
The strike group departed Norfolk, Virginia, Nov. 16 on a scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.