US Deploys Truman Carrier Strike Group And 7 Warships With Cruise Missiles To Mediterranean

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) is being deployed to the Mediterranean Wednesday, where it will join the USS Donald Cook off Syrian territorial waters.

The aircraft carrier will be accompanied by guided-missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Farragut (DDG 99), as well as the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60). The Destroyers USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) will join the HSTCSG later, according to a statement by the US Navy. 

The Sachssen-class German frigate FGS Hessen (F 221) will also operate as part of the strike group during the first half of the deployment.

It is worth noting that it will take approximately 6-7 days for the group to cross the Atlantic at 30 knots, plus another 3-4 three days once it arrives in the Mediterranean, to reach Syria, suggesting a full-blown on attack may not take place until after April 22 or so.

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The strike group, carrying 6,500 sailors and Carrier Air Wing One, will cruise alongside the German frigate FGS Hessen during the first half of the deployment. The German ship conducted a brief mission with the Harry S. Truman in 2010, the Navy said according to Stripes.com

This will be the first extended deployment for the Harry S. Truman since wrapping a 10-month maintenance period last July. The mission will include "maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts alongside allies and partners," and they will "provide crisis response capability and increase theater security cooperation and forward naval presence" in the Middle East and Europe, according to the statement. 

The Harry S. Truman will replace the USS Theodore Roosevelt strike group, which wrapped up its four-month deployment to the Middle East last month, and is operating in the Western Pacific.

The Harry S. Truman, which is assigned to the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command, last traveled to the Middle East in 2015 to join the anti-Islamic State mission Operation Inherent Resolve before returning home in 2016. -Stripes

Yesterday, guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook armed with 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles anchored off of Syrian territorial waters, and has reportedly been "harassed" by low-flying Russian warplanes, which have buzzed the "Arleigh Burke" class warship at least four times according to CNN Turk.

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Via @evacool_f
It is claimed that the US Donald Cook-named destroyer left Cyprus 's Larnaca port and landed near Syrian territorial waters. It was claimed that the missile destroyer named "Arleigh Burke" class Donald Cook (DDG-75) reached Tallus 100 kilometers and had 60 Tomahawk fuses on board. -CNN Turk (translated)

A Navy source confirmed the deployment, saying that the guided-missile-destroyer had just completed a port call in Cyprus, while the Pentagon reportedly draws up plans for how to deal with the situation.