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USS Truman strike group finally coming home to Norfolk after virus-prompted detour at sea

By KATHERINE HAFNER | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: June 5, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group will return home to Norfolk within the next few weeks, the Navy said.

The ship had been at sea in the Atlantic since April after its homecoming from a Middle East deployment was delayed because of the pandemic. The group was serving as a deployment-ready reserve force while also hoping to protect its crew from COVID-19.

“You’ve done your duty and now it’s time to come home,” Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite told sailors on a visit to the Truman Thursday, according to a news release.

The Truman strike group, which includes the guided missile cruiser USS Normandy and guided missile destroyers Lassen, Forrest Sherman and Farragut as well as the flagship, has been extended multiple times. Some of the ships are on the ninth month of their deployment, officials said.

The Normandy and Forrest Sherman, which deployed in September, returned to Naval Station Norfolk on Friday. Each intercepted “large caches of missile components” aboard fishing ships that were intended for Houthi forces in Yemen, the Navy said.

On Friday more than 100 aviators from nine squadrons from Carrier Air Wing One also departed home to Naval Air Station Oceana and a host of other bases.

The remaining ships, including the Truman, which left Norfolk in November, will be back by mid-June after finishing necessary maintenance.

The Truman helped make naval history this week as a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier sailing alongside the newest generation of carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, for the first time.

During its deployment, the Truman operated in the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea, traversing more than 55,000 nautical miles, the Navy said. Over the past few months it participated in a homeland defense exercise under several different military commands.

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