An EA-18G Growler from the 'Zappers' of Electronic Attack Squadron 130 launches from the deck of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman last month. Truman and its strike group, including the Zappers, will deploy Monday. (MC2 Brandon Parker / Navy)
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The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is days away from returning to sea, six months after budget cuts stalled a planned deployment days before it was scheduled to begin.
The Norfolk, Va.-based carrier and its strike group will leave Monday for an eight- to nine-month deployment to 5th and 6th Fleet, the Navy announced in a Thursday news release.
The CSG had been scheduled to deploy Feb. 8. Citing “budget uncertainties,” the Navy called off the trip Feb. 6, after the group had completed pre-deployment training and certifications. Those have been completed again in advance of Monday’s departure.
“The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is ready to deploy,” Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, strike group commander, said in the release. “I am extremely proud of the men and women who are assigned to HST CSG. We’ve worked very hard over the last several months to maintain our combat readiness following the delay of our deployment in February.”
About 6,000 sailors, Marines and coalition forces make up the CSG, which includes the Truman, the destroyers Bulkeley and Mason, the cruisers Gettysburg and San Jacinto and 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron — a unit made up of U.S. and U.K. personnel, according to the release.
It also includes Carrier Air Wing 3 and its squadrons: the “Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron 32, the “Ragin’ Bulls” of VFA-37, the “Gunslingers” of VFA-105, the “Checkerboards” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312, the “Seahawks” of Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126, the “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron 130, the “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7 and the “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74.