Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin K. Walker, son of Tanda and Melvin Walker of Charleston, along with other Sailors stationed aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va., marking the start of the ship's eight to nine month deployment to the Arabian Gulf.
Truman, along with the other components of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HST CSG), completed a composite training unit exercise in January prior to their originally scheduled February deployment, and also a sustainment exercise and fleet synthetic training exercise in June.
The February deployment was delayed due to sequestration and the change of aircraft carrier presence requirements in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.
The current deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of forward-deployed forces to support maritime security operations (MSO) in the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet areas of operations.
MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complements the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO denies international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
Truman is the flagship for HST CSG. It can travel in excess of 30 knots, and has a ship's company of approximately 3, 000. With the embarked air wing and staffs, the number rises to about 5, 000.
HST CSG also consists of USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Mason (DDG 87), USS San Jacinto (CG 56), 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron staff and Carrier Air Wing 3.
Walker is a 2007 graduate of Walker Valley High School of Charleston and joined the Navy in December 2012.