USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Group Staying in Med on Current Deployment
The U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group headed up by the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman and five escort ships will remain in the Mediterranean on its current deployment. The carrier group, which had departed the United States at the beginning of December, was expected to transit the Mediterranean and continue to the Persian Gulf.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed the change in deployment with Navy spokespeople saying that it’s a sign of support to the U.S.’s European allies. They did not mention any specific situations, but news reports continue to highlight the buildup of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine. Two and half weeks ago, president Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin conducted a virtual meeting to discuss the situation in Ukraine with President Biden emphasizing the U.S.’s support for its allies.
The U.S. and Russia are also working jointly on security issues in Europe and the Middle East. Yesterday, a Russian official confirmed that the two countries had met to discuss the current nuclear talks with Iran. President Biden is expected to have direct talks with President Putin on Thursday regarding the Iran situation while a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council announced that the U.S. and Russia have set a date for broader security discussions. The talks are due to begin on January 10 focusing on nuclear arms controls, but it is believed that Ukraine will also be on the agenda. At the same time, Moscow has scheduled talks with NATO due to begin on January 12.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, and Mayport, Florida for a regularly scheduled deployment, on December 1, 2021. The carrier group includes one cruiser, the USS San Jacinto, along with four guided-missile destroyers, USS Cole, USS Bainbridge, USS Gravely, and USS Jason Dunham, and nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing.
Joining the group on the deployment is the Royal Norwegian Navy Frigate, HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen as part of the Cooperative Deployment Program between the U.S. and its allies. The Norwegian frigate is scheduled to remain with the group throughout the current deployment which was expected to include Europe and Africa.
The carrier group entered the Mediterranean on December 14 and has been conducting a series of exercises with allied nations. It also made a visit to the U.S. naval base in Greece.
In 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Navy reported that the Truman spent at least one day underway for 32 of 36 months. The carrier departed on her scheduled voyage on November 18, 2019, but the deployment was extended due to COVID-19 and she remained operational until mid-June 2020. The Truman then spent 10 months undergoing maintenance and upgrades at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard followed by a period of testing, trials, and training that lasted into the fall of 2021.