USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea - The Navy says the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, whichdeparted Norfolk on May 21, entered the 5th Fleet area ofresponsibility Friday after completing a successful transit throughthe Suez Canal.
The Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is relieving the Dwight D.Eisenhower CSG as part of a routine rotation of forces. TheEisenhower CSG left Norfolk on January 2.
"I am very proud of the men and women of the Truman CarrierStrike Group as we join the 5th Fleet," said Rear Adm. PatrickDriscoll, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10. "We have trained hardto support our troops on the ground in Afghanistan and we lookforward to working with our regional maritime partners to enhanceinteroperability and security."
For many sailors and Marines aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN75), this is their first time operating in the 5th Fleet area ofoperations. Several crew members who went topside during the SuezCanal transit were amazed by the sand dunes and the level ofnavigational skill required to steer the aircraft carrier safelythrough the passage.
"I was surprised by how close we were to land," said SeamanJason Kowalski, from Truman's deck department, who stood watches onthe forecastle and bridge during the transit.
For Seaman Marissa Cambora, also from deck department, thetransit drove home the reality that the aircraft carrier was farfrom its homeport of Norfolk.
"It was exciting to see palm trees and sand dunes," saidCambora.
"Everything is new and different. It makes you realize thatafter months of preparation, we're actually here."
The Truman Carrier Strike Group includes the aircraft carrierUSS Harry S. Truman with embarked Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW 3)and guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) as well asAegis-equipped destroyers USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81), USSMilius (DDG 69), USS Ross (DDG 71), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) andGerman frigate FGS Hessen (F221).
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