Carrier Truman Fixed, Readying to Deploy as Lincoln Awaits Relief in Middle East

FacebookTwitterPinterestEmailShare
The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and ships assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) transit the Atlantic Ocean while conducting composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), Feb. 16, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo/Scott Swofford)
The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and ships assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) transit the Atlantic Ocean while conducting composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), Feb. 16, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo/Scott Swofford)

Repairs to an East Coast aircraft carrier that has been sidelined for months are now complete, the Navy announced this week, freeing up the ship to prepare to deploy.

Fixes to an electrical issue on the carrier Harry S. Truman are now complete, according to a statement Tuesday from Fleet Forces Command.

"All efforts are being made to return the carrier and air wing to sea to conduct operations," the release states. USNI News first reported the ship's repaired status.

A defense official declined to provide a timeline on when the carrier might be ready to head to sea, citing operational security. But the crew won't be required to complete another composite training unit exercise, the official added, since the strike group remains certified to deploy based on its August training results.

Related: Navy Carrier That Has Been in Middle East Since May Gets Deployment Extended Again

"That said," the official said, "there are still several steps the strike group will need to take before being operationally ready to deploy."

Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, head of Naval Sea Systems Command, said in a statement that the crew, his command, industry partners and shipyard workers overcame a "very challenging issue." They replaced damaged parts and completed tests to ensure the ship is ready to operate at sea.

"An engineering analysis, coupled with inspections aboard several aircraft carriers, show that this was a localized issue and not a class-wide concern," the release states. "The success of this repair was due to the outstanding efforts of multiple Navy organizations and industry partners who quickly brought their expertise and skills to bear to resolve this issue."

The Truman was set to replace the carrier Lincoln in the Middle East, but its electrical issues held it back.

In September, four ships with the Truman's strike group deployed to the Middle East without the carrier. That has left some elements of the Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, including that carrier, facing another deployment extension.

"We're going to have to stay on station a little longer," Capt. Walter Slaughter, the Lincoln's commanding officer, said in a recent video message from the Arabian Sea. "... I know that's not the news everybody wanted to hear, but we're tough as individuals and even tougher as a crew."

The state of carrier maintenance has been a high-profile issue in recent months. Lawmakers have pressed Navy leaders to address exactly how they're fixing problems caused by long-delayed ship maintenance. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Robert Burke said last month he is "very concerned" about the state of carrier readiness.

At the time, six East Coast carriers were tied up in various states of maintenance or training.

Lt. Marycate Walsh, a Second Fleet spokeswoman, said the early detection of the electrical problems on the Truman prevented further damage. She credited the watch standers' vigilance for spotting the problems and their industry partners for making the fixes quickly.

"[That] was critical in allowing a year's worth of maintenance to be accomplished in a very short amount of time in order to return a vital national asset to operational capability," she said.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

Read more: Navy 3-Star Says Rust on Ships Is Not Driving Up Maintenance Costs

Show Full Article