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Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group returns to Norfolk

Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group returns to Norfolk
By Brock Vergakis
NORFOLK

It’s homecoming day in Hampton Roads.

More than 6,000 sailors are returning to Norfolk following an eight-month deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in the Middle East.

The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman is scheduled to arrive Wednesday at Norfolk Naval Station. The Truman will be joined by the other ships in its strike group, which include the cruiser USS Anzio and the destroyers USS Bulkeley, USS Gonzalez and USS Gravely.

Thousands of family members and friends are expected to greet their loved ones on base after having to wait longer than expected for their arrival.

The strike group originally was supposed to return in June. But the deployment was extended 30 days to keep up pressure on the Islamic State group while the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower traveled to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to replace the Truman. Hundreds of family members gathered on base Tuesday evening to pick up American flags and create “welcome home” signs, among other things.
While most of the Truman’s combat sorties were launched from the Persian Gulf, it also launched the first attacks from the Mediterranean since 2003.

The Truman’s aircraft this deployment set a Navy record in the fight against the Islamic State group by dropping more than 1,600 bombs.
The strike group’s aircraft returned to Norfolk and Virginia Beach on Monday and Tuesday.

The supply ship USNS John Lenthall also is returning to Norfolk after supporting the strike group throughout its deployment.
Brock Vergakis, 757-222-5846, [email protected]

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