Aircraft carrier arrives in Bahrain for port visit
By HENDRICK SIMOES | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 22, 2013
MANAMA, Bahrain — The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman arrived Sunday for a scheduled five-day port visit in Bahrain where its crew is expected to spend Christmas.
The Truman carrier strike group is more than halfway through a nine-month deployment, having left its Norfolk, Va., homeport in late July. The Truman is the only U.S. aircraft carrier currently deployed, according to the Navy.
Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation officials have organized 14 cultural tours of Bahrain for the Truman’s crew of approximately 5,000 sailors and Marines. Officials also have extended hours at most base facilities to accommodate the influx of servicemembers.
“It’s not always easy being deployed during the holidays,” said Lt. Marissa Myatt, spokeswoman for U.S. 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain. The port visit will give the crew an opportunity to call and video chat with family and friends back home, she said. Such personal communication is extremely limited when a ship is out to sea.
The Truman carrier strike group entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in August to relieve the USS Nimitz in the Middle East. The guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg, part of the Truman strike group, also is in Bahrain for a scheduled port visit.
Capt. Sara Joyner, commander, Carrier Air Wing 3, of Hoopers Island, Md.; and Lt. Cmdr. Eddy DePuy, of Tallahassee, Fla., leave an E-2C Hawkeye, assigned to the "Seahawks" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman while sailing the Gulf of Oman Dec. 14, 2013.
KARL ANDERSON/COURTESY U.S. NAVY