NORFOLK, Va. - About 6,000 Sailors of the Harry S. Truman Strike Group deployed Wednesday afternoon from Naval Station Norfolk.
Rear Adm. Curt Renshaw is commanding the strike group, including the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), commanded by Capt. Gavin Duff; the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8 and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56).
Capt. Todd Zenner is commanding Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28, including USS Cole (DDG 67), USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109).
Capt. Matthew Barr is commanding the Squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, including Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 “Red Rippers;" VFA-211 “Fighting Checkmates;" VFA-34 “Blue Blasters;" VFA-81 “Sunliners;" Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137 “Rooks;" Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126 “Seahawks;" Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 11 “Dragon Slayers;" Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM)72 “Proud Warriors;" and a detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 “Rawhides.”
In addition, The Royal Norwegian Navy’s Fridtjof-Nansen class frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F310) is also joining with the strike group as part of the Cooperative Deployment Program.
Navy leadership isn't going into specifics about where the group is heading or how long they'll be gone.
"It's a dynamic world. I tell our Sailors I know when we're leaving. I have a pretty good idea when we're coming home, but where we go in between is subject to world events," said Rear Adm. Curt Renshaw.
The Truman was on deployment in 2020 during the beginning of the pandemic, but this time around nearly 100% of the Sailors are vaccinated.
"I think it does allow us to have more confidence that if we have an outbreak of COVID, it's not going to put an individual Sailor's health at risk or it's not going to put the mission of the ship at risk," said Renshaw.
For the families, it's a tough day, especially around the holidays, but one of they've come to accept.
"What's the saying? 'Too much has been given; much is required,' and we signed up for this," said Lymarie Rice, whose husband deployed.
Wanda Stake has been through this before her son is deploying for the third time.
"I just pray every day and put him in God's hands and pray that he stays safe and that everyone stays safe," said Stake.