As the only carrier strike group currently in the region, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 helped provide on-call air support for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Of course a part its main mission, the USS Truman Strike group also performed Persian gulf patrol and participated to various exercise in the Gulf area. The USS Harry Truman CVN 75 left Norfolk, Va, on November 2007 and should be deployed on Persian Gulf until May this year in support to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The USS Harry Truman Carrier Strike Group ( CSG) is a war fighting force made up to 12 surfaces ships and submarines, including cruisers and destroyers commanded by Destroyer Squadron TWO SIX (CDS 26). In addition to eight aircraft squadron equipped and trained to work as a forward deployed force providing a deterrent against aggression and protection of vital US interests. At the centre of the Strike Group is the carrier itself, that is also the flagship for commander Strike Group 10 and the embarked Carrier Air Wing 3. The USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is commanded by Rear Adm. William E. Gortney, while the carrier is commanded by Capt Herm Shelansky and the Commander of Destroyer Squadron 26 is Capt. Michael Strano.
USS Harry Truman Carrier Strike Group 10:
- USS Harry Truman CVN-75
- USS Carney DDG64
- USS Oscar Austin DDG 79
- USS Winston Churchill DDG 81
- HMS Manchester D95 (Royal Navy British destroyer)
- USS San Jacinto CG 56
- USS Hue City CG 66
- HMCS Charlottetown FFG 339 (Canadian Frigate)
- USNS Arctic T-AOE 8
- USS Montpelier SSN 765
CVW-3, was the second oldest Navy Air Wing, as was commissioned on 1 July 1938 on board USS SARATOGA ( CV-3). During the WWII the wing deployed about SARATOGA until she was torpedoed in January 1942. Portions of the wing were then deployed about USS YORKTOWN ( CV 5) and accounted for the crippling hits on the Japanese fleet carrier SORYU during the Battle of Midway. Additionally CVW-3 participated in the first carrier strikes against Tokyo. In 1950, CVW-3 sailed aboard USS LEYTE ( CV 32) through the Panama Canal en route to the Pacific. The Korean War saw the wing flying in support of the Pusan Perimeter, invasion of Wonsan and the strikes on the Hungnam Salient and Yalu River Bridges. Further flying nearly 11,000 hours of operation CVW3 flew against North Korean and Chinese Communist forces. During the early 1950s, then Air Group THREE, was assigned to homeport at NAS Cecil Field, Florida. This period saw Air Group THREE assigned to the USS MIDWAY ( CVA-44), USS TICONDEROGA ( CVA-14) and USS SARATOGA (CVA-60), executing several deployment in Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic.
In December 1962, CVW-3 aboard USS SARATOGA, was conducting refresher training on Caribbean Sea when it was called upon to take their place " on the line" during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The end of 1960's saw CVW-3 displaying its flexibility through taking Reserve Squadrons during the USS PUEBLO incident, embarked with Royal Navy Fighter Squadron 892 for two weeks, and flew in response to numerous Mediterranean events.
CVW-3 began in 197's by being tapped to integrate the new CV Concept. The task of blending the mission of an attack and an ASW wing aboard a deployed carrier was assigned to the proven hands of CVW-3. Upon the return of another successful mission, the CV Concept was validated and implemented. In 1972, CVW-3 and the USS SARATOGA were given 60 hours notice BEFORE DEPLOYIN AROUND South America en route to Vietnam. Operations there saw CVW-3 provide strike and support duties in South Vietnam, ALPHA strikes, AAW missions and reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam.CVW-3 first Mig kill came on 21 June when a F 4J downed a Mig-21. Dropping over 14,000 tons of ordnance, CVW-3 spent 175 days on line engaged in combat operations against North Vietnam. In 1981 CVW-3 served aboard USS KENNEDY ( CV67) and participated in air strikes against Lebanon in support of US Marines stationed there. In January 1989, two F 14A Tomcat of CVW-3 shot down two hostile Libyan Mig fighters over international waters in the Central Mediterranean. In august 1990, CVW-3 and JFK departed on a no-notice deployment in support of Operation Desert Shields, and air crews later flew combat sorties in association with Operation DESERT STORM. During its 24th maiden deployment, CVW-3 aircrafts participated in Operation DESERT FOX, a four days strike campaign against Iraq on December 1998.
On 28 November 2000, CVW-3 sailed onboard USS H.TRUMAN on her maiden deployment. Through the early months of 2001, CVW-3 operated in the Arabian Gulf, conducting Response Option strikes, to include the largest strike over Iraq since Operation Desert Fox, in support to Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and Maritime Interception Operations. On 6 December 2002, CVW-3 departed for its 26th deployment to the Med., in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. On 20 March 2003, CVW-3 participated in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, taking part in defensive counter air mission in Western Iraq, launching aircraft off the coast of Egypt in the South Eastern Mediterranean. On 13 October 2004, the Battle Axe in USS H. TRUMAN for its 27th depl. CVW-3 relieved CVW-17 on 22 November 2004, flying OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM combat patrols in the skies over Iraq and OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. The Battle Axe returned home on 18 April 2005. On 2 September 2005, CVW-3 deployed to the gulf of Mexico about USS TRUMAN and proved shore based ditch. Along the gulf coast for 10 days in support of Operation HURRICANE KATRINA and HUURICANE RITA. CVW-3 aircraft provided post-hurricane search and rescue support as well as logistic and transportation assistance in the aftermath of these natural disasters. On 4 November 2007, CVW-3 set sail aboard USS HARRY TRUMAN marking the beginning of its 28th deployment.