From USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Five members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command embarked USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) July 13-15 to synchronize air operations over Afghanistan and familiarize the group of international air force officers with U.S. carrier operations.
The team, which was led by Royal Air Force Air Commodore Alistair Monkman, met with leaders from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 to conduct meetings and receive informational briefs about air operations on board Truman.
"This was an opportunity to recognize the incredible mission Sailors perform in contributing their slice of air power and to gain a greater insight into the complexity and synchronization that make these missions happen," said Monkman.
Lt. Cmdr. Chad Redmer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, found the briefs to be particularly helpful in articulating the expectations for support missions in Afghanistan.
"We've had a long series of briefs prior to arriving in theater," said Redmer. "It was good to have the group come out here and to be able to ask questions and work through the process to better accomplish our mission."
The visit provided an opportunity for the ISAF team, who were visiting a U.S. carrier for the first time, to learn about carrier air operations and included time on the flight deck and the flight control tower.
"Joint interoperability is crucial if we are to function as one team," said U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Valle. "It was an eye-opening experience to see how the Navy operates. We were impressed by their professionalism and motivation."
During the visit, Monkman received an F-18 Super Hornet familiarization flight with VFA 32. Although he has more than 25 years flying jets, including the Tornado GR1 and the U.S. Air Force F-117 Stealth Fighter, Monkman said he will not forget the experience of being launched from the flight deck with a 130 mph catapult shot, or the arrested landing recovery that followed.
"It was, without a doubt, the single most exciting experience," said Monkman. "I'm still struggling for adjectives."
ISAF is a NATO-led organization that was established by the United Nations Security Organization in 2001 to support ongoing operations in Afghanistan. Truman is deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.