The USS Harry S. Truman’s arrival will end a gap where the US did not have an aircraft carrier in the Gulf. The supercarrier is due to arrive in the Persian Gulf around Christmas where it will begin striking Islamic State.
The USS Harry S. Truman and its carrier strike group will join the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle in the Gulf, which arrived earlier this month.
Other vessels in the Strike Group provide additional capabilities, such as long range Tomahawk missiles or the Aegis Combat System, and also protect the carrier from attack. A typical Strike Group may include up to six surface combatants, including frigates, guided missile cruisers and guided missile destroyers and one or two attack submarines.
The vessel itself is a Nimitz class aircraft carrier, these vessels can accommodate a maximum of 130 F/A-18 Hornets or 85–90 aircraft of different types but current numbers are typically 64 aircraft.
A typical carrier air wing can include 12–14 F/A-18E or F Super Hornets as strike fighters; two squadrons of 10–12 F/A-18C Hornets, with one of these often provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, 6 E EA-18G Growlers for electronic warfare; 4 E-2C/D Hawkeyes for airborne early warning (AEW), C-2 Greyhounds used for logistics and a Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron of HH-60H Seahawks.
American forces have been steadily increasing air-strikes, with 3,271 bombs hitting enemy targets just last month.