USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) celebrated the aircraft carrier's 12th birthday July 23 while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Since the ship's commissioning July 25, 1998, Harry S. Truman has completed four deployments, including support for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in 2003 and 2007 and OEF in 2002.
The ship has earned five Battle Efficiency awards in its 12 year history was recently awarded the 2009 Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Award, awarded to a ship or submarine for superior battle-readiness.
"I can't think of a more fitting way to celebrate our ship's birthday than supporting our troops on the ground in Afghanistan," said Capt. Joe Clarkson, Truman's commanding officer. "Our ship is doing what she was built to do, and we are ready to execute whatever mission our nation requires."
The Truman's stellar reputation led many crew members to specifically requested the ship for their next duty station.
"At my previous command, both of my chiefs recommended I come here for my next duty station," said Personnel Specialist Seaman Ryan Halpin, who reported to Truman eight months ago. "I looked into the ship's reputation, and everything about it has been true. I'm proud to be able to celebrate the birthday of such an impressive ship."
Culinary specialists worked hard to prepare a special birthday meal, which included barbecue and buffalo wings, pizza and a giant birthday cake.
"We have a birthday celebration every month for crewmembers," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Loran Bather. "It wouldn't be right for us not to stop and acknowledge the commissioning of this great warship."
Bather said the crew members are the ones who made Truman the warship it is today, and they are instrumental in ensuring Truman remains strong and prepared to respond for many years to come.
"The crew has made the ship what she is," Bather said. "All the equipment on the ship is just steel without the heart and soul of the Sailors and Marines on board."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.