March 19 (UPI) -- The aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman departed Norfolk, Va., after a three-month availability for ship maintenance and targeted training.
The massive, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and the accompanying ships in its Strike Group traveled to Canada, Iceland, Great Britain and north of the Arctic Circle on an eight-month deployment last year before returning to Naval Station Norfolk.
The vessel then stayed for three months, instead of a short "working port visit," undergoing upgrades to systems, deck restoration, maintenance and to provide targeted training for Sailors.
The availability was the first demonstration of the Pentagon's new Dynamic Force Employment plan, devised by former Defense Secretary James Mattis, to keep potential enemies unaware of how long, and where, ships and personnel are deployed.
"The National Defense Strategy makes clear that we must be operationally unpredictable to our long-term strategic adversaries, while upholding our commitments to our allies and partners," Adm. James Foggo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Force Command Naples said in a statement in December. "That's what we've done with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group."
The Strike Group returned to sea on Saturday for what the Defense Department called an "independent streaming exercise" in which crews will execute proficiency drills and test the new The Grumman C-2 Greyhound aircraft. The Greyhound is a twin-engine, cargo plane designed to carry supplies, mail, and passengers to and from Navy aircraft carriers.
The Strike Group includes the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman, squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 1, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burke and USS Forrest Sherman.