The USS Harry S. Truman Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and its accompanying strike group has remained out at sea since mid-April, amid ongoing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Truman has been tasked with remaining deployed in order to ensure the U.S. military maintains its readiness as other carriers like the Theodore Roosevelt deal with breakouts of the virus among their crews.
“The ship is entering a period in which it needs to be ready to respond and deploy at any time,” 2nd Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis said last month in a statement. “Normally we can do that pierside, but in the face of COVID-19, we need to protect our most valuable asset, our people, by keeping the ship out to sea.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Navy’s elite acrobatic aviation team the Blue Angels conducted a flyover for the United States Naval Academy Class of 2020 comissiqonioning ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland and as they turned back home to head for Pensacola, Florida, they decided to take a quick detour and fly over the Truman’s strike group in a show of support for the Sailors who are remaining at sea well past the end of their deployment in April.
According to a Navy press release about the fly-over, it was actually the first time many of the Sailors had ever seen the Navy’s elite team in person. For others, it was a pleasant reminder of past experiences.
“For me, seeing the Blue Angels was very nostalgic,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Third Class Tyler Williams. “I remember watching the Blue Angels as a kid, and seeing them today brought back great memories. I appreciate that they are giving us love out here.”
The Harry S. Truman strike group consists of flagship Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and the embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).