Seven months into its extended deployment, the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman has hit 2,000 sorties and more than 1,000 missiles launched in missions against the Islamic State group, more ordnance than any other flattops that have who've launched strikes in the mounting war against ISIS over the past two years.support of Operation Inherent Resolve, surpassing several other carriers who've launched strikes against ISIS in the past two years.
The "Lone Warrior" and Carrier Air Wing 7 reached the combat mission milestone on June 19 in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a release, less than six months after launching its first strike on December 28 from 5th Fleet, where it spent over five months of its cruise; the Truman has already set the record for bombs dropped on anti-ISIS missions.
"Two thousand is a strong number — the result of months of teamwork and dedication of every sailor [aboard]," said Cmdr. Darren Wilkins, Truman's air boss, said in the release. "The only thing more impressive than the quantity of flights is their quality. The ship and the air wing have conducted precision combat missions in two operating areas, demonstrating our inherent flexibility and resolve."
Truman's war strikes bests the count surpasses the the carrier Theodore Roosevelt's count of 1,1812, which wrapped up six months in 5th Fleet last October, but hasn't yet reached Carl Vinson's record of 2,300 from its last cruise.
Following a one-month deployment extension, announced in April, the Truman's carrier strike group set up shop in the Mediterranean Sea early this month, where it has continued launching strikes against ISIS.
The Norfolk-based flattop is escorted by the cruiser Anzio, and the destroyers Gravely, Bulkeley, Gonzalez and Ramage.
"The ability to conduct sustained operations, from one region to the next, is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy's flexibility and capability," Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, the strike group's boss, said in a June 5 release. "We go where our nation most needs us, anywhere on the globe, and we don't need a permission slip."
Meanwhile, the carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Naples, Italy, over the weekend, on its way to take over in 5th Fleet.