The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) is underway in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, operating under U.S. Northern Command’s (USNORTHCOM) operational control as a flexible and ready asset in defense of the homeland.
Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, Commander, U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier May 29, 2020 to observe assigned naval and air forces under the control of USNORTHCOM and bi-national air forces under NORAD command exercising combined, high-end, multi-domain tactics, techniques and procedures.
“Consistent with the National Defense Strategy, conducting dynamic force employment of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group for complex, high-end operations under USNORTHCOM’s operational control allowed us to demonstrate and exercise critical homeland defense capabilities,” said O’Shaughnessy. “It was great to be aboard this warship to see the operations firsthand and to personally express to the crew how proud I am of their commitment to remain ready to defend the homeland regardless of the COVID-19 environment in which we are operating.”
While aboard the carrier, O’Shaughnessy observed an anti-submarine warfare exercise (ASWEX). He also observed an air defense exercise, specifically a long-range aircraft (LRA) intercept, from the Tactical Flag Command Center.
U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) provided Operation NOBLE EAGLE alert tankers along the East Coast to support forces during the exercise. USTRANSCOM's aerial refueling fleet is the backbone of rapid U.S. global operations and the lifeblood of the Joint Force's ability to deploy an immediate force supporting all National Defense Strategy Mission areas. USTRANSCOM maintains a global deployment posture, ready mobility capacity, and the global command and control at echelon necessary to generate this immediate force and seamlessly transition to a fully mobilized Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise to project a decisive force when required.
Additionally, since all joint operations integrate space capabilities so forces can operate with unmatched speed, precision, and lethality, the newly formed U.S. Space Command provided various space capabilities, to include satellite communications and GPS support to ensure units were able to communicate and execute command and control. U.S. Navy Space Command helped refine the reporting and coordinating mechanisms to ensure HSTCSG had adequate space support throughout the exercise scenarios.
The U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force and NORAD’s bi-national Canadian and U.S. forces were able to increase proficiency and learn from each other’s efforts. They were able to gain hands-on understanding of each other’s communication, information sharing, and capabilities.
Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle, commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight emphasized what the HSTCSG brings to the fight in support of the National Defense Strategy across the spectrum of military operations.
“We exercised our skill sets during this high-end training in the Atlantic, while working with allies and partners to build upon our deployment operational baseline,” said Loiselle. “The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group supports a full range of maritime operations for regional and national strategic objectives. It was a tremendous opportunity to show Gen. O’Shaughnessy what our Sailors, ships, and aircraft are capable of as a carrier strike group protecting the homeland.”
The HSTCSG deployed in November 2019 and supported national interests in maritime stability and security in the U.S. 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Fleet areas of operation through May 2020.
The HSTCSG is comprised of the flagship aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and the embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
The HSTCSG remains at sea in the Atlantic as a certified carrier strike group force ready for tasking in order to protect the crew from the risks posed by COVID-19. Keeping HSTCSG at sea in U.S. 2nd Fleet, in the sustainment phase of Optimized Fleet Response Plan, allows the ships to maintain a high level of readiness during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
USNORTHCOM’s number one priority is homeland defense. The command deters, detects, and defeats threats to the United States, conducts security cooperation activities with allies and partners, and supports civil authorities.