Navy Extends USS Truman's Deployment by 30 Days

Sailors get ready on deck prior to the carrier USS Harry S. Truman deployment from Norfolk Naval Station last November. (The' N. Pham/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
Sailors get ready on deck prior to the carrier USS Harry S. Truman deployment from Norfolk Naval Station last November. (The' N. Pham/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

The aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman's deployment has been extended 30 days as it continues the fight against the Islamic State group, the Navy announced Friday.

The Norfolk-based carrier left in November for what was to be a seven-month deployment, but will remain in the Middle East as it launches combat flights against the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. The extension means the carrier will likely return to Norfolk in July.

The extension applies to the entire Truman Strike Group, which includes the guided missile destroyers Anzio, Bulkeley, Gonzalez and Gravely.

Earlier this month, aircraft flying from the carrier set a Navy record for the number of bombs used in the fight against the Islamic State group, eclipsing the previous record of 1,805 pieces of ordinance dropped by aircraft assigned to the carrier Theodore Roosevelt in 2015.

"This decision is central to our ongoing effort to dismantle and roll back terrorist networks in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said in a written statement. "Accelerating the fight against ISIL is the President's number one priority and the Truman strike group plays an important role as we work to destroy ISIL and continue to go after the remnants of al Qaida."

The Truman was originally going to mark the Navy's first seven-month deployment for a carrier since officials announced the goal in 2014.

"We will do everything we can to mitigate the impact on our families and execute planned seven-month deployment lengths going forward," Richardson said.

The Norfolk-based carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower is set to replace the Truman this summer. 

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