Carrier Truman joins ISIS fight alongside French flatto

By David Larter, Staff writer

The aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman joined the fight against the Islamic State group Tuesday, launching the first missions over Iraq since the flotilla arrived in the Middle East in mid-December.

Truman joins Operation Inherent Resolve more than two months after the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group departed U.S. Central Command, leaving the region without a carrier for the first time in years.

The Truman is in the Persian Gulf with the French carrier Charles de Gaulle, which is fresh off strikes in Syria after the IS-directed terror attacks in Paris.

The strike group’s boss said the two carriers were bringing heavy firepower to the fight.

“Dual carrier operations with the French allow us to maximize our firepower and provide a unique opportunity to further progress against ISIL,” said Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, the Truman CSG commander, in a press release. “It validates our abilities to successfully operate as an international coalition while conducting very dynamic operations.”

The carriers will trade off sending sorties into Iraq and Syria, giving the air wings time to reset every other day, said Capt. Fredrick Luchtman, who leads Truman’s air wing.

“We complement each other in that while one carrier is able to fly sorties in country to support OIR, the other carrier can conduct maintenance and prepare for the next day,” Luchtman said. “The carriers can then swap, which allows us to put more sorties in [the] country while we partner in this operation.”

Truman departed on a scheduled seven-month deployment Nov. 17.

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