Tag Archives: USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)

Naval and Marine Aviation in a nutshell, from the Med to the Americas

This great shot from Neptune Shield 22 shows a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet (BuNo 169735), attached to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211– part of Carrier Air Wing One, assigned to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) — flying alongside an Italian Marina Militare F-35B Lightning II (MM 7454) and an AV-8B II+ Harrier (MM 7200) somewhere over the Adriatic on 30 May of this year. It is a great way to see both the past and future of the USN/USMC’s front-line aviation and that of the Italian Navy.

(U.S. Navy courtesy photo. 220530-n-no874-1068)

The Italian Navy only has 14 Alenia Aeronautica-assembled Harriers left– of 18 ordered in 1990– in their Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati carrier air wing, with the type seeing combat over Libya a few years back. They are being replaced by 15 F-35Bs, with the intention to operate them from the country’s flagship carrier, the 27,000-ton Cavour.

Iconic Underway Shots

The Navy’s PAO network has really done a good job of putting out great images in the past week. Check these out, taken in three different parts of the world across just three days.

From the ancient waters of the Adriatic:

220606-N-AO868-1147 ADRIATIC SEA (June 6, 2022) Ensign Stephen Hess uses a telescopic alidade in the pilot house of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), as it transits behind the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in the Adriatic Sea, June 6, 2022. Truman is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by the U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., Allied, and Partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Conner Foy/Released)

220606-N-AO868-1167 ADRIATIC SEA (June 6, 2022) The Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) transits the Adriatic Sea on June 6, 2022. Truman is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by the U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., Allied, and Partner interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Conner Foy/Released)

To the Atlantic

220605-N-YD731-1271 ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 5, 2022) Sailors assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) prepare to shoot line during a replenishment-at-sea with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195), June 5, 2022. The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway completing a certification exercise to increase the U.S. and allied interoperability and warfighting capability before a future deployment. The George H.W. Bush CSG is an integrated combat weapons system that delivers superior combat capability to deter, and if necessary, defeat America’s adversaries in support of national security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Novalee Manzella)

USS Leyte Gulf CG-55 conducts a replenishment-at-sea with USNS Leroy Grumman (TAO-195), on June 5, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Novalee Manzella)

USS Leyte Gulf CG-55 conducts a replenishment-at-sea with USNS Leroy Grumman (TAO-195), on June 5 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Novalee Manzella)

And to the Pacific

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 7, 2022) An F/A-18F assigned to the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22 makes an arrested gear landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway in the U.S. 3rd fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lorenzo Fekieta-Martinez)

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 7, 2022) An aircraft makes an arrested gear landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway in the U.S. 3rd fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lorenzo Fekieta-Martinez)

Between stuff like this, and Maverick, the recruiters just have to sit back and show where to sign.

Of course, a lot of the platforms shown are high-mileage, with Nimitz– the oldest operational aircraft carrier in the world– laid down in 1968 and is planned to be removed from the battle force in fiscal year (FY) 2025, when the ship’s Terminal Off-load Program begins. Meanwhile, Leyte Gulf, the Navy’s 9th Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and one of its most veteran of the type still in service, had her first steel cut at Pascagoula in 1985 and has a planned decommissioning in 2024 alongside sister San Jacinto, from whom’s bridge the top two images were captured. The oiler Grumman was laid down in 1987 while Nimitz’s sister Truman was ordered the year after. In short, most of the rank and file working on these ships are younger than the compartments they work, eat, and sleep in.

To them, they are serving in the “Old Navy” of which they will one day regale these new recruits.

Med Top Trio

Lots of joint carrier ops lately, with the Brits, Japanese and 7th Fleet steaming a trio of flattops in the Pacific (HMS Queen Elizabeth, USS America, JS Ise) last August while a five-flattop formation was photographed just two weeks ago in the Philippine Sea to include the Abraham Lincoln and Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Groups along with Japan’s Hyuga (DDH 181) and two big phibs (America and Essex).

Well, looks like the Med now has its photo-ex as the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) integrated with the French carrier Charles de Gaulle’s (R 91) Task Force 473 and Italian carrier Cavour (C-550) strike groups, “highlighting the strength of the maritime partnerships among the three nations,” as part of Neptune Strike 22/Clemenceau 22 over in Sixth Fleet’s neck of the woods.

And a Tico, (San Jacinto) made it as the point ship, still beautiful at age 34.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA – Elements of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, the ITS Cavour Strike Group, and the Charles de Gaulle Carrier Strike Group (TF 473) transit the Mediterranean Sea in formation, Feb. 6, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security, and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests in Europe and Africa. Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bela Chambers. 220206-N-DH793-1568

In the below close-up, note that Charles de Gaulle has 20 Rafales on deck as well as a pair of Hawkeyes while Cavour looks to still be carrying her aging AV-8B Harriers.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA – From right to left, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), the Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (C 550), and the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R 91) transit the Mediterranean Sea in formation, Feb. 6, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security, and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests in Europe and Africa. Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bela Chambers. 220206-N-DH793-1262.JPG

As noted by C6F:

Elements of the strike group include the staff of Carrier Strike Group 8; flagship USS Harry S. Truman; the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1; the staff and guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, which include: USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Gravely (DDG 107); the Royal Norwegian Navy’s Fridtjof-Nansen class frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F310) deployed as part of the Cooperative Deployment Program; and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56). USS Cole (DDG 67) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) are also part of the carrier strike group and currently supporting U.S. Fifth Fleet Area of Operations.

HST and some Greek F-4 Joy

Carrier Strike Group 8, centered around the late-model Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and with the Royal Norwegian frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen attached, over the New Year conducted a series of joint military exercises with the Greek Navy– including the German-built Type 214 submarine Katsonis (S-123)– and the Greek Air Force.

The latter included a few of its remaining F-4E-PI2000 Phantoms. 

Truman, commissioned in July 1998, joined the fleet 12 years after the last carrier-borne F-4S squadron in the world (VF-202 “Superheats”) hung up their Phantoms so the event is a treat.

The Greeks ordered 50 brand-new F-4Es in the early 1970s– augmented by surplus Air National Guard and Luftwaffe aircraft– and still has 33 of them, upgraded in Germany a few years back, with No. 338 and 339 Squadrons.

The vintage aircraft are set to retire once Greece fields their new F-35s and Rafales.

As part of the exercise, Katsonis was able to get an epic periscope shot of HST, reinforcing how valuable friendly SSKs can be in tight seaspace. 

Devils and Devils rushed to the Sandbox

In response to unrest at the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on 27 December following a series of CENTCOM strikes on Kata’ib Hizbollah (KH) bases, a group of 100 Marines from 2/7 attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (catchily abbreviated to just “SPMAFTF-CR-CC”) 19.2, rushed from Kuwait to beef up the MSG and State Department DS contingents on New Year’s Eve. They arrived via MV-22 Osprey, as shown in the below USMC videos by Sgt. Robert Gavaldon & Sgt. David Bickel.

Of interest, 2/7 recently filmed this short where they talk about training to do more expeditionary stuff of a ship-to-shore nature.

They were quickly backfilled in the region by a reinforced battalion of the 82nd Airborne (All Americans), which were airmailed over the New Year’s holiday from Fort Bragg to Kuwait. The unit on IRF rotation was the famed 2nd Battalion, 504th PIR. The 504th since 1944 has carried the nickname “The Devils in Baggy Pants,” taken from a comment by a Wehrmacht officer at Anzio.

U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, deploy from Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, Jan. 1, 2020. Elements of the Immediate Response Force mobilized for deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities. The IRF and the All American Division remain postured and ready to deploy in support of the National Command Authority. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Robyn J. Haake)

In a statement from SECDEF Dr. Mark T. Esper

At the direction of the Commander in Chief, I have authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the 82nd Airborne Division to the U.S. Central Command area of operations in response to recent events in Iraq.

Approximately 750 soldiers will deploy to the region immediately, and additional forces from the IRF are prepared to deploy over the next several days.

This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today. The United States will protect our people and interests anywhere they are found around the world.

Meanwhile, the “haze gray stabilizers” of Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8), built around USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), are now reporting to the 5th Fleet. 

Further, the U.S. upped the ante on Friday by dusting Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who had almost cult hero status within IRGC and Quds Force Shia militias in the region, with many referring to him as the real man behind the curtain. The pressure for Tehran to retaliate will be immense.

From DOD this morning:

General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.

This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.

Is it 1991 again?

So three things happened over the weekend.

#1 & #2, the Navy christened two brand new Virginia-class SSN’s on the same day (Saturday) some 500 miles part when they broke bottles at Newport News for the future USS Delaware (SSN 791) at 10 a.m and at Groton for the future USS Vermont (SSN 792) at 11 a.m. Importantly, Delaware is the last of the Block III Virginia’s and Vermont is the first of the Block IVs as these boats increasingly replace the old 688s.

181020-N-LW591-159 Groton, Conn. (Oct. 20, 2018) Ship sponsor Gloria Valdez, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisitions), breaks a bottle of wine produced by a Vermont vineyard to christen the Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Vermont (SSN 792), during a ceremony at Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. PCU Vermont is the third U.S. Navy vessel to be named in honor of the state of Vermont and the 19th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Hoskins/Released)

And in the “welcome to Red Storm Rising, redux:”

For the first time in nearly 30 years, a U.S. aircraft carrier entered the Arctic Circle Oct. 19 to conduct operations in the Norwegian Sea.

“Accompanied by select ships from Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8), the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) traveled north to demonstrate the flexibility and toughness of U.S. naval forces through high-end warfare training with regional allies and partners. USS America (CV 66) was the last ship to operate in the area, participating in NATO exercise North Star in September 1991.”

181019-N-EA818-0127 NORWEGIAN SEA (Oct. 19, 2018) An F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81, launches from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). For the first time in nearly 30 years, a U.S. aircraft carrier has entered the Arctic Circle. Accompanied by select ships from Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG- 8), Harry S. Truman traveled north to demonstrate the flexibility and toughness of U.S. naval forces through high-end warfare training with regional allies and partners. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley/Released)

HST will be taking part in Trident Juncture, which sprawls across Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden from Oct. 25 to Nov. 23.

More than 50,000 participants – including 14,000 U.S. service members – are expected to participate, utilizing approximately 150 aircraft, 65 ships, and more than 10,000 vehicles in support of the exercise.

Part of the surge is an amphibious landing in Iceland that includes Iwo Jima‘s Amphibious Ready Group:

Which was not lost on MCT:

Everything old is new again…I feel like I should be playing Harpoon, optimized for Windows 2.11.

The more things change….

Below we have an image taken earlier this month of Sailors assigned to the “Knighthawks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 conduct maintenance on an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, in the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).

180202-N-NQ487-019 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kaysee Lohmann/Released)

And here we have is “Hangar Deck of Carrier” painted first hand by officer-artist LT. William F. Draper, USNR, while off Palau in 1944, showing that, though 74 years have passed between the two, and everything from the aircraft and uniform of the day to the artist’s medium has changed, some things have endured.

NHHC Accession #: 88-189-EB