ARLINGTON, Va. — The aircraft carriers USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Harry S. Truman are set to return to Virginia this month after having participated in support of combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Norfolk-based carrier Truman battle group is slated to return home May 23. The vessels’ 8,100 sailors and Marines deployed Dec. 5 and conducted combat operations in the Middle East.

But only the aircraft carrier of the Roosevelt’s eight-ship strike group is returning to its homeport, a homecoming set for May 29, according to a Navy press release.

The Roosevelt group deployed Jan. 6. Seven vessels of the strike group will stay in the Mediterranean Sea to respond to contingencies that might arise from the conflict in Iraq, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Those vessels are due to arrive home in July.

Also, the Nassau amphibious ready group, with 1,800 sailors and about 2,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., is expected to return May 29, the Pilot reported.

The San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and its group of eight other vessels will remain in the Persian Gulf. The Nimitz, which deployed in early March with about 8,000 in the battle group, replaced the USS Abraham Lincoln.

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