The US aircraft carrier CVN-65, the USS Harry Truman, has begun striking at various Islamic State targets from the Mediterranean Sea on Friday. This is the first time a carrier group has launched airstrikes from the area since the 2003 invasion in Iraq. According to a statement by the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa, fighter jets conducted combat sorties from the aircraft carrier in support of Operation Inherent Resolve on Friday after transiting the Suez Canal the day before.
“While the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is in the 6th Fleet area of operations, they continue to project power ashore against terrorists and violent extremists,” Vice Admiral James Foggo III, commander of US 6th Fleet, said in a statement. “This exemplifies our Navy’s mobility, flexibility and adaptability, as well as our commitment to execute a full range of military operations in concert with our indispensable European allies and partners.”
As the most recent naval deployment map shows, as of June 2, the Truman strike group was located in the Persian Gulf...
... although it quickly made its way to the Mediterranean in the past few days.
The five-ship group was returning from an eight-month deployment in the Persian Gulf. However, the Pentagon extended the deployment of Carrier Air Wing 7 for one more month to reduce a gap with its replacement, the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Earlier in the day, the USS Eisenhower headed to the region with around 7,000 service members on board. “The Dwight David Eisenhower Strike Group deploys to relieve the Harry S. Truman Strike Group and will be supporting air strikes against ISIS, answering the nation’s call and stepping up the fight,” said Admiral Phil Davidson, head of Fleet Forces Command, according to Navy Times.
As RT reports, the aircraft carrier nicknamed “Ike” was supposed to have set sail back in November, but its departure was delayed, and the USS Truman headed out in its place. The “Ike” was undergoing repair work, which took almost two years to complete.