Aircraft launched from the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman have been carrying out strikes against ISIS targets in Syria for a little over a week now, pummeling the remaining Daesh strongholds in the Middle Euphrates River Valley in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
The first sorties were launched from Truman into Syria on May 3 from the carrier’s position in the Mediterranean Sea, a Navy release said. The airstrikes began just days after U.S. military leaders declared the end of major combat operations against ISIS in Iraq.
Since arriving in the Mediterranean on April 27, the Truman has been launching “around-the-clock” sorties, according to a Stars and Stripes report.
Accompanying the carrier are the destroyers Forrest Sherman, Bulkeley, Arleigh Burke and Farragut, the guided-missile cruiser Normandy and the German frigate Hessen. The destroyers The Sullivans and Jason Dunham will arrive at a later date, making the strike group one of the most formidable to visit the region in years.
“This is the biggest one that’s sailed from the East Coast for quite some time,” Rear Adm. Gene Black, carrier strike group commander, told Stripes. “It’s a pretty potent force with lots of capabilities the Navy can put to sea.”
With the “around-the-clock” sorties, it’s safe to say the Truman has picked up right where it left off following its last cruise.
During the Truman’s last deployment over parts of 2015 and 2016, the carrier launched a total of 2,054 combat sorties that encompassed 20,788 flight hours. Almost 1,600 bombs were dropped on ISIS targets in that span.
“I’m proud of the professional seamanship our Sailors showcased,” Truman’s commanding officer, Capt. Nicholas Dienna, said in the Navy release. “It was a beautiful spring day, and these men and women executed their responsibilities flawlessly.”
The Truman departed Norfolk just one month ago.
J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.