ABOARD USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 completed sustainment training July 19 under the Navy's Fleet Response Training Plan (FRTP) during Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet's Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX 05-2).
Truman participated in the FRTP as part of the Navy's effort to get ships ready earlier and keep them ready longer in the event they're needed quickly to support the global war on terrorism.
"Under the new alignment for the Fleet Response Plan, the sustainment phase we're in is an opportunity to keep us on the step we maintained throughout our previous deployment," said Truman Commanding Officer Capt. James Gigliotti. "The goal there is to make sure that, if called upon on short notice once again, we can take that same fight to the enemy quickly without having to ramp up very fast."
Due to maintenance on the ships that normally augment the strike group alongside Truman, new allies in the same mission took part in the recent exercise.
"USS Cole's (DDG 63) been with us," said Gigliotti, "and we had USS Gettysburg (CG 64) come up from the south and join us as well, as part of a 'plug-and-fight' mode. We had to introduce ourselves to them and vice versa, but it was a good chance to exercise our anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and surface warfare capabilities."
USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) joined the exercise, aiding Truman's ASW and lookout training.
"Our goals here were just to hone the skills we already had," said Gigliotti, who lauded the ship and air wing team's efforts as a complete success. "We got to dust away the cobwebs, knock off a little rust and regain our proficiency, so when we get called upon we're ready to go."
"It's really a two-fold training evolution," he continued. "Obviously the focus is on the new aviators and the experienced aviators getting proficient again, but it also gives us a chance on the flight deck to work with our air wing aircraft."
After the first few days, Truman and CVW-3 launched straight into increasingly longer fly days and various other evolutions, including general quarters drills, strike warfare, close air support and air defense.
"We're really pressing the air wing and ship team very hard," said Gigliotti. "Those exercises get us snapped back into our normal routine."
While he said Truman is not the centerpiece of the overall JTFEX led by Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, Gigliotti stressed that Truman played a significant role on the periphery of the exercise in support of USS Theodore Roosevelt's (CVN 71) Carrier Strike Group training, as well as fostering a relationship with international allies.
"We're working in a geographic scenario that includes coalition forces," he said, "and to get a chance to integrate like that we all learn a great deal, both U.S. forces and coalition forces working together."
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