19:47 GMT30 May 2020
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    The US Navy’s aging aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman entered European waters on Sunday en route to the Middle East. The warship attempted to depart months ago, but an electrical failure forced it back into port for repairs.

    According to a Tuesday statement by the US Sixth Fleet, the 21-year-old Truman entered the eastern Atlantic Ocean on Sunday on its way to relieve the USS Abraham Lincoln, another Nimitz-class carrier that’s been patrolling the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf since May, when tensions began to heat up with Iran.

    The ship and its 90-plane-strong air wing were supposed to relieve the Lincoln in September, but a massive electrical failure shortly after leaving port forced the Truman to return to Hampton Roads, Virginia, for repairs, which were completed in early November.

    For a brief moment, every single US carrier based on the country’s East Coast was in port for repairs, some of which will take years to complete, Sputnik reported. The crews and equipment being used to overhaul other ships were reassigned to the Truman to return the ship to sea as quickly as possible.

    The Trump administration briefly considered scrapping the Truman earlier this year in a bid to save money, but protests by the Pentagon forced the White House to backtrack, extending the 100,000-ton ship’s life past 2024.

    The Truman is accompanied by two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers on its voyage to the Mediterranean: the USS Bainbridge and USS McFaul, USNI reported. Stars and Stripes noted the Truman will briefly meet up for exercises with Italian forces near Naples before continuing on to the Arabian Sea via the Suez Canal.

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    US Navy, Middle East, repairs, deployment, aircraft carrier, USS Harry Truman
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