Navy's Truman Carrier Strike Group deploys without its aircraft carrier

Sept. 13 (UPI) — With the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman sidelined with electrical problems, its surface escorts nonetheless began deployment from their East Coast home ports.

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, minus its lead vessel, left on Thursday for training exercises, the U.S. Navy announced.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen and USS Farragut departed Mayport, Fla., and will be joined by the destroyer USS Forrest Sherman and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy, which left Norfolk, Va.

The air wing, stationed on the aircraft carrier, also awaits deployment, but a detachment of helicopters from Helicopter Maritime Squadron 72, stationed in Jacksonville, Fla., made the trip.

Their destination was not revealed.

In August, the Navy announced an emergency maintenance requirement for an electrical issue aboard USS Harry S. Truman. No timetable for the return of the aircraft carrier has been announced.

“This deployment demonstrates our Navy’s inherent capability to maneuver and flex to accomplish the task at hand,” Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the Navy’s 2nd Fleet, said in a statement. “Our ships remain flexible, ready and capable to operate in multiple theaters supporting a variety of missions.”

Deployment of a carrier strike group without its aircraft carrier is unprecedented, although in at least one instance, an aircraft carrier was replaced. When the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower had maintenance issues in 2015 and could not leave port, the USS Harry S. Truman took its place.

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