NORFOLK -- The USS Harry S. Truman strike group has once again left Norfolk.
A little more than a month after its surprise return to Naval Station Norfolk as part of a new national defense strategy, the Truman and its 6,500 sailors returned to sea Tuesday for "sustainment operations and carrier qualifications in the Atlantic," according to a news release from the Navy's U.S. Fleet Forces Command. The Truman will also work with the USS Abraham Lincoln, which has been operating in the Atlantic with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and also last week hosted a film crew shooting the next "Top Gun" movie.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' national defense strategy has called for greater unpredictability for U.S. adversaries, including shaking up how warships deploy. When ships from the Truman Strike Group returned to Norfolk for a working port visit July 21 after initially deploying April 11, Navy officials cautioned that it was not an official homecoming. While in port, the strike group did routine maintenance on ships, aircraft and equipment, completed advanced training and worked on warfighting certifications, the Navy said.
The ship spent part of its first three months deployed to the Navy's Sixth Fleet area of operations, from which it flew struck the Islamic State in Syria.
"Now, as we continue our deployment, we remain 100 percent mission-capable and ready to accomplish whatever mission we are assigned, at any time, anywhere," Truman Strike Group Commander Rear Adm. Gene Black said in a statement. "This exemplifies the Navy's Dynamic Force Employment concept: we remain flexible and ready on short notice to deploy whenever and wherever the nation needs, ready to fight."
Ships and aircraft from the strike group that left Tuesday include the flagship aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing One, guided-missile cruisers USS Normandy and the guided missile destroyers USS Forrest Sherman and Arleigh Burke.
Truman's departure also comes just days after Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson visited Norfolk for the official re-establishment of the Navy's Second Fleet, an area that extends from the eastern U.S. seaboard to the northern coast of Russia. Richardson said re-establishing the fleet will increase the services's ability in deterring and responding to threats, allow it to develop new capabilities and enhance its NATO partnerships amid spiraling threats from Russia and China.
This article is written by Courtney Mabeus from The Virginian-Pilot and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.