President Truman’s mantra “Give ‘em Hell” rings true with 2000th strike against ISIS
Just prior to the end of her deployment, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman launched her two-thousandth aircraft mission in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The Truman has been on cruise since late last year. The first launch of the campaign took place just after Christmas. In less than six months, the vessel’s electronic warfare and strike fighter squadrons have logged more than 2,000 sorties. Quite a remarkable number with the current readiness trends in the Navy, particularly with F/A-18 Hornets.
“Two thousand is a strong number – the result of months of teamwork and dedication of every Sailor [aboard],” said Commander Darren Wilkins, the Truman’s Air Boss. “The only thing more impressive than the quantity of flights is their quality.”
Most strike missions would likely have included precision-guided or laser guided munitions such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) or the PaveWay series of bombs. Precision-guided munitions are more accurate and reduce collateral damage. Less collateral damage has been a key to success in modern air campaigns. For Truman pilots, routine sorties into the Area of Responsibility (AOR) could last up to 8 hours.
Truman is homeported in Norfolk, Virginia. The ship is comprised of over 5,000 sailors and carries an embarked Air Wing with approximately 75 aircraft. The Air Wing has dropped over 1500 bombs with a total weight of 1.5 million pounds.
Currently, Harry S Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The ship is conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Truman was joined in the Mediterranean this month by the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower who will take over operations in the Middle East. The Truman crew and Air Wing expect to be back in homeport later this summer.