USS Harry Truman Hits ISIS: For First Time Since 2003, US Launches Airstrikes from Mediterranean Sea

June 5, 2016 3:51 pm Last Updated: June 5, 2016 3:53 pm

U.S. aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman has launched airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria from the Mediterranean Sea.

This is the first time U.S. has conducted airstrikes from the sea dividing Europe, Africa, and Middle East, since flight mission against Iraq in 2003, Fox reported.

“This is showing the U.S. Navy can conduct flight operations (against ISIS) from other locations, not just the (Persian) Gulf,” a Navy official told Fox on June 3.

The strikes were conducted by the F/A-18 Hornet combat jets. They flew over Turkey to avoid Russian anti-air defenses deployed on the western coast of Syria.

A F/A-18 Hornet lands aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman at an undisclosed position in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)
A F/A-18 Hornet lands aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman at an undisclosed position in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

USS Harry S. Truman has been previously deployed to the Persian Gulf, and its aircraft have conducted strikes on ISIS before.

In fact, in less than four months of this year, the ship’s aircraft have already dropped more bombs on ISIS than those of any other U.S. aircraft carrier ever.

“We had no idea we would be used to this extent and magnitude. We started dropping bombs Dec. 29 and here we are in mid-April still going strong,” Cmdr. Jim McDonald, the Truman’s weapons officer, said in a statement, according to Military.com.

Between Dec. 29 and April 15, Truman’s aircraft dropped 1,118 bombs or used other ordnance on ISIS positions, surpassing the previous record of 1,085 set by the USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2015.

This is, however, the first time since 2003 the carrier has launched airstrikes from the Mediterranean Sea.

In this Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015 photo released by the U.S. Navy, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman transits the Strait of Hormuz, which divides the Persian Gulf form the Gulf of Oman. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class M. J. Lieberknecht/U.S. Navy via AP)
In this Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015 photo released by the U.S. Navy, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman transits the Strait of Hormuz, which divides the Persian Gulf form the Gulf of Oman. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class M. J. Lieberknecht/U.S. Navy via AP)

Truman and her escort ships cruised through the Suez Canal on June 2.

It will be relieved by aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower next month.

USS Harry S. Truman represents one of the newer additions to the Navy fleet of 10 supercarriers. It was commissioned in 1998 and has since been deployed to multiple conflicts, including the peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan War, and Iraq War.