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F/A-18 Super Hornets, assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1, fly over USS Harry S. Truman during flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered European theater of operations.

F/A-18 Super Hornets, assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1, fly over USS Harry S. Truman during flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered European theater of operations. (Tommy Gooley/U.S. Navy)

F/A-18 Super Hornets, assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1, fly over USS Harry S. Truman during flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered European theater of operations.

F/A-18 Super Hornets, assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1, fly over USS Harry S. Truman during flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered European theater of operations. (Tommy Gooley/U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Yasmin Downs poses for a photo on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered the European theater of operations.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Yasmin Downs poses for a photo on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered the European theater of operations. (Tommy Gooley/U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Vennard, assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126, performs maintenance on an E-2D Hawkeye early warning and attack aircraft in the hangar bay of the USS Harry S. Truman, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered the European theater of operations.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Vennard, assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126, performs maintenance on an E-2D Hawkeye early warning and attack aircraft in the hangar bay of the USS Harry S. Truman, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered the European theater of operations. (Tommy Gooley/U.S. Navy)

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the ''Red Rippers'' of Strike Fighter Squadron 11 launches from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered the European theater of operations.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the ''Red Rippers'' of Strike Fighter Squadron 11 launches from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic Ocean, Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Truman and its carrier strike group have since entered the European theater of operations. (Tommy Gooley/U.S. Navy)

NAPLES, Italy — The USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group has entered the European theater of operations, less than a week after the U.S. launched missile strikes on suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Truman deployed April 11 from Norfolk and arrived in the 6th Fleet theater this week. It is the first carrier to operate in the area since the USS George H.W. Bush launched airstrikes against the Islamic State last year.

“There is no more recognizable symbol of American naval power than a carrier strike group,” said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, 6th Fleet commander, in a statement. “Their presence in this vital region is a reflection of our commitment to a safe, prosperous and free Europe and Africa.”

Navy officials declined to discuss the Truman’s planned operations or when the strike group would move to the Persian Gulf. However, strike group deployments to the region in recent years have contributed a mix of patrols and strikes against terror groups and other adversaries.

The strike group’s arrival was planned well in advance of last week’s attacks by the submarine USS John Warner, which fired six Tomahawk missiles into Syria in conjunction with other U.S., British and French operations.

Its current strike group includes the destroyers USS Farragut, USS Forrest Sherman, USS Bulkeley and USS Arleigh Burke, along with the missile cruiser USS Normandy and several aviation and support squadrons.

The destroyers USS Jason Dunham and USS The Sullivans will join the group later.

wyland.scott@stripes.com Twitter: @wylandstripes


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