CTF 50 is responsible for conducting maritime security operations, supporting theater security cooperation efforts in the region and providing support for Operation Enduring Freedom.
"We are now providing direct support to OEF in Afghanistan," said Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander, HST CSG. "Every day, we will be supporting troops on the ground. Secondly, we are enhancing maritime security operations through our presence and interaction. Our ships throughout the region are conducting exercises and patrols with coalition navies. Ultimately, we are building trust and confidence in the region."
Cmdr. Jason Darish, Harry S. Truman's combat direction center officer, said HST CSG is ready to perform the mission.
"Part of what we are doing is supporting the forces on the ground in Afghanistan with our air wing," said Darish." If there are Soldiers, Marines or NATO coalition forces on the ground who need our support, we will be there to assist their effort. We as a CSG are also here to support counter-piracy efforts throughout the region."
HST CSG participated in several exercises during the year leading up to the deployment to prepare. The strike group deployed July 22.
Darish said the training has thoroughly prepared the Sailors and Marines for any mission they may be tasked with while deployed.
"I think the work-ups and all the training we have accomplished has more than sufficiently prepared us to operate in this area of the world," said Darish. "I feel the training did a great job to set us up for success during this deployment."
Air Traffic Controller 3rd Class (AW/SW) Steven Doyel, from Harry S. Truman's operations department, said he feels prepared to do his job and is ready to serve.
"This is what we were trained to do," said Doyel. "We are as ready as ever to take the fight to the enemy. I feel the culmination of our training has prepared us to do our job. Being deployed out here is what a carrier strike group does, and it's what the Navy does."
Sweeney said the strike group is fully trained and prepared to accomplish the Navy's mission in 5th Fleet.
"It's an environment where we'll continue to work with our coalition partners, train and operate throughout the region, and maintain presence to enhance security and stability," he said.
HST CSG consists of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) along with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 and its squadrons: Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 "Swordsmen," VFA-37 "Ragin' Bulls," VFA-105 "Gunslingers," Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 "Checkerboards," Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 "Seahawks," Electronic Attack Squadron 130 "Zappers," Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7 "Dusty Dogs," and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74 "Swamp Foxes;" the embarked staffs of Carrier Strike Group 10 and 1st Combined Destroyer Squadron; guided-missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Gettysburg (CG 64); and guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Mason (DDG 87).