USS Truman's Arabian Gulf Stay Extended By Month To Accelerate Anti-IS Campaign

The USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier strike group's presence in the Arabian Gulf has been extended for 30 days. While it is critical to the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, it also provides a broader maritime security in what also is known as the Persian Gulf, the chief of naval operations said Monday.

Navy Adm. John M. Richardson told reporters at the Pentagon that the continued presence of the Truman -- which he said contributes 20 percent to 25 percent of total airpower there -- is aligned with President Barack Obama's acceleration of the campaign to defeat ISIL.

The Truman offers broad maritime security by lending greater stability to the region, in addition to its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance component and assurance to U.S. allies in the region, he said.

Navy officials said the Truman has wide-ranging and flexible mission capabilities, including maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence, and counterterrorism capabilities. Its embarked air wing can project tactical air power over sea and inland, and provide sea-based air, surface and subsurface defense, they added.

In the wake of China's denial of a port stop in Hong Kong by the USS John C. Stennis last week, Richardson emphasized that the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier will have "other opportunities to come ashore." The carrier will make other ports of call in its dual role to conduct operational and diplomatic mission, he noted.

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