USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) entered the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) June 18 after completing a successful transit through the Suez Canal.
Truman CSG is relieving Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG as part of a routine rotation of forces during a scheduled deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and theater security cooperation (TSC) efforts in the region.
"I am very proud of the men and women of the Truman Carrier Strike Group as we join the 5th Fleet," said Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10. "We have trained hard to support our troops on the ground in Afghanistan, and we look forward to working with our regional maritime partners to enhance interoperability and security."
For many Sailors and Marines aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), this is their first time operating in the 5th Fleet AOR. Several crew members who went topside during the Suez Canal transit observed the sand dunes and the level of navigational skill required to steer the aircraft carrier safely through the passage.
"I was surprised by how close we were to land," said Seaman Jason Kowalski, from Truman's deck department, who stood watches on the forecastle and bridge during the transit.
For Seaman Marissa Cambora, also from deck department, the transit drove home the reality that the aircraft carrier was far from its homeport of Norfolk, Va.
"It was exciting to see palm trees and sand dunes," said Cambora. "Everything is new and different. It makes you realize that after months of preparation, we're actually here."
Truman CSG deployed May 21, and includes the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman with embarked Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW 3) and guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) as well as Aegis-equipped destroyers USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Ross (DDG 71), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and German frigate FGS Hessen (F221).
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.