USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Carrier Strike Group relieved the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Carrier Strike Group Nov. 20 in the Persian Gulf, following a vertical ammunition replenishment and official turnover.
After a full summer of training, Truman is ready to heed the nation's call for its second deployment in support of the global war on terror.
"I think the ship has trained hard," said Truman Commanding Officer Capt. James P. Gigliotti, "and the time we had during Summer Pulse '04 solidified all that training, and allowed the ship and air wing to meld very well, just like they have in the past."
Truman's crew proved its skill and resilience in its previous stand on the front lines of freedom, having flown nearly 1,300 combat sorties from the Mediterranean Sea in the early stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The ship and air wing contributed greatly, and now return to support Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF(I)) and forces from the sovereign government of Iraq.
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 stands ready to provide an eye in the sky for MNF-I, should they require tactical air support in a dangerous situation.
"Our most important customers are the men and women on the ground in Iraq -- and the people of Iraq," said Capt. Pat Rainey, commander of CVW-3. "We're very sensitive to what the men and women are going through on the ground. While being out here for six months may seem like a long time to us, they're here for a year plus."
As a key participant in the Navy's Fleet Response Plan, or FRP, Truman has come full circle since its last six-month excursion in 2003 -- shipyards, workups and now deployment again.
"We trained quickly, got ready quickly, the months have flown by, and we're on station here doing our thing, just what FRP envisioned," said Gigliotti.
The composite carrier strike group consist of Truman, USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Mason (DDG 87), USS Monterey (CG 61), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), and USS Albuquerque (SSN 706). The strike group deployed Oct. 13, under the command of Rear Adm. Michael C. Tracy, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10.
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