Two guided-missile destroyers and other escort ships left Mayport, Fla., while crews continued working to repair the Truman’s electrical system, which malfunctioned during a pre-deployment exercise in late August, USNI News reported.
Navy officials couldn’t say when the Truman would be operational. The Navy’s standard policy is not to discuss future operations, Capt. Scott Miller, a U.S. Fleet Forces Command spokesman, told USNI.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Lassen and USS Farragut will be joined later by the destroyer USS Forrest Sherman and the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy, USNI said.
A destroyer squadron will lead the Surface Action Group — a temporary stand-in for a normal carrier group — with 15 additional personnel to offset the absence of a carrier’s usual capabilities, 2nd Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis told USNI.
The move is unusual. Normally, if a carrier is down for maintenance or some other reason, it will simply be replaced with another carrier. But, the East Coast carrier fleet may be short a suitable alternative in the inventory because of maintenance backlogs and delivery delays, among other issues.
Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, the US 2nd Fleet commander, characterized the latest developments as “unfortunate” in talks with USNI News. “The situation with Truman frankly is unfortunate,” he told the naval-affairs outlet. “Obviously, we’re working really hard to fix it, and we will fix it, but it’s unfortunate — nobody wanted that to happen certainly.”
This is the first carrier deployment that the 2nd Fleet has overseen since it reached initial operational capability in May. It’s also the first time that a Truman strike group has deployed since 2018.