Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group F/A-18F Super Hornets Conduct Exercises On Target Near Indian River

By  //  July 17, 2019

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USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is the eighth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy

Lt. Andrew Radcliffe signals to launch an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on July 11, 2019. (US Navy image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Daily newsroom has received many phone calls and emails asking about the military aircraft being seen and heard over Brevard County recently.

As it turns out, the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, which departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on July 5, is conducting its composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) off the east coast, ahead of a deployment later this year.

During COMPTUEX, the carrier, its escorts and the carrier air wing will have to prove again to the trainers in Carrier Strike Group 4 and to U.S. 2nd Fleet that they are ready to deploy overseas again.

During the exercises, U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters are conducting carrier take-off and landings, and are simulating air assaults on various Florida “targets,” including “Cape Stack” on the Indian River in the Titusville area, “Pinecastle” in the Ocala National Forest and “Avon Park” near Lake Okeechobee in South Florida.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) conducts flight operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (US Navy image)

Aboard the USS Harry S. Truman is Carrier Air Wing 1 which includes nine squadrons and detachments:

• The “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
• The “Checkmates” of VFA-211 from Naval Air Station Oceania, Va.
• The “Sunliners” of VFA-81 from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
• The “Knighthawks” of VFA-136 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
• The “Rooks” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137 from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
• The “Seahawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126 from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
• The “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
• The “Dragon Slayers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 11 from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
• The “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM 72) from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

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Destroyer Squadron 28 is also deployed with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. The leadership of Destroyer Squadron 28 is embarked aboard Harry S. Truman and commands the guided-missile destroyers that are operating as part of the CSG, including:

• USS Farragut (DDG-99), homeported in Mayport, Fla.
• USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98), homeported in Norfolk, Va.
• USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), homeported in Norfolk, Va.
• USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), homeported in Norfolk, Va.

“I am excited to see what this combined strike group and air wing can accomplish during COMPTUEX,” Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle, the strike group commander, said in a U.S. Navy statement.

“The sailors on each ship will be challenged with real-world scenarios combining live and synthetic training. This exercise will test our integrated strength as a multi-mission force. The comprehensive training evolutions are an opportunity to grow as a team, both in our ability to sustain prolonged periods at sea and to find areas where we can improve.”

“I am excited to see what this combined strike group and air wing can accomplish during COMPTUEX,” Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle, the strike group commander, said in a U.S. Navy statement.

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