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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

USS Harry S. Truman – A U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Like No Other

USS Harry S. Truman
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 9, 2012) The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator taxies on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman is the first aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft. Harry S. Truman is underway supporting carrier qualifications.

USS Harry S. Truman is an Adversary’s Worst Nightmare. Why? The official motto of the United States Navy’s eighth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is “The Buck Stops Here,” a reference to a sign that sat on President Harry S. Truman’s desk in the Oval Office. However, the battle flag of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) – which was designed by the ship’s crew – carries the words, “Give ’em hell,” a reference to President Truman’s 1948 reelection campaign. It is also a variation of the guidons carried by the companies of the 129th Field Artillery Regiment of the 35th Infantry Division and honors the battery under the command of then-United States Army Captain Harry Truman in the First World War.

The carrier bearing the 33rd president’s name has certainly been an adversary’s worst nightmare and likely one that could indeed give them hell.

During the early stages of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, air wing aircrews flew nearly 1,300 combat sorties from the Mediterranean Sea, while in 2004 as part of a Navy-wide series of re-designations became the immediate superior in command (ISIC) of Carrier Strike Group 10 (CSG-10) and headed to the Persian Gulf. Harry S. Truman and Carrier Air Wing 3 (CAW-3) launched 2,577 sorties, totaling nearly 13,000 flight hours, flying combat missions over Iraq. In 2016, the carrier as the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 8 (CSG-8) took part in an eight-month air operation against ISIS as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

In addition to combat operations, CVN-75 has also taken part in multiple humanitarian missions including responding to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

She has won numerous awards that recognize the ship’s excellence including the Battenberg Cup in 2003 and again in 2021 for operational excellence during its 2020 deployment to the U.S. 2nd, 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. Harry S. Truman has also earned multiple Battle “E” awards, and notably the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award, which is given to the most battle-ready ship in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. She won that award twice, first in 2004 and again in 2009.

USS Harry S. Truman – Meet the Lone Warrior

CVN-75, nicknamed HST and Lone Warrior, was the first warship to be named for the 33rd president of the United States (POTUS), Harry S. Truman. She is currently homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. The carrier was launched on September 7, 1996 by Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia, and commissioned on July 25, 1998.

USS Harry S. Truman was initially the flagship of Carrier Group Two (CG-2), and later was the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 10 (CSG-10) and Carrier Strike Group 8 (CSG-8).

As with other Nimitz-class carriers, CVN-75 is powered by two A4W pressurized water nuclear reactors, which drive four propeller shafts and can produce a maximum speed of over 30 knots (56 km/h) and a maximum power of around 260,000 shaft horsepower (190 MW). The carrier has almost unlimited range as well as the ability to stay at sea almost indefinitely.

The carrier a length of 333 meters overall, 317 meters at the waterline, and a beam of 41 meters. She has a full-load displacement of 101,196 long tons (102,820 tons), while the ship’s complement includes 558 officers and 5,454 enlisted (including embarked air wing). As a floating military airport, Lone Warrior is 1,092 feet long while its flight deck is about 4.5 acres. The warship is home at sea to approximately 3,200 sailors and Marines as well as nearly 2,500 additional personnel that make up the air wing.

The carrier’s embarked air wing consists of eight to nine squadrons of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft including Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, MH-60Rs, MH-60Ss and E-2C Hawkeyes. As with other carriers in her class, CVN-75 can utilize her four catapults and four arresting gear engines to launch and recover aircraft rapidly and simultaneously.

Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.