NORFOLK - Nearly 7,000 Sailors and Marines deployed with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) will return to Norfolk early next week following a seven month deployment.
Carrier Air Wing Three will return this weekend. This includes nearly 100 naval aviators and crew aboard 40 aircraft. They'll be returning to Naval Air Station Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk.
Among those returning are two C-2A Greyhound aircraft from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Forty, Det. 4. The 'Rawhides' will return Saturday to Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field.
The 'Seahawks' from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 will arrive at Chambers Field Sunday with four E-2C Hawkeye aircraft.
The Sailors and Marines have been supporting Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and New Dawn (OND) in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) and conducting maritime security operations in the 6th Fleet AOR.
The Norfolk-based Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79),and USS Ross (DDG 71) are scheduled to return.
In June 2010, the HSTCSG participated in the 100th Anniversary of French Naval Aviation, which included several interoperability exercises with French aircraft carrier (CVN)Charles de Gaulle (R 91). The event culminated in the first Rafale F3 jet engine swap-out onboard an aircraft carrier, performed in Truman's hangar bay.
During Truman's (CVN 75) deployment to 5th fleet, CVW 3 flew more than 2,900 missions into Afghanistan and Iraq, providing vital close air support to coalition forces on the ground.
While supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, USS Normandy acted as the Regional Air Defense Commander (RADC) in support of OEF. Executing duties as RADC, Normandy was responsible for surveillance of more than 264 million square miles of air space.