The USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75) is a nuclear powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier serving in the US Navy. One of ten such vessels currently active, the Truman was commissioned on 25 July 1998 and as 2010 was operating out of NS Norfolk, Virginia.
Ordered in 1988, the keel of the Truman was laid on 29 November 1993. Construction took nearly three years, and the completed vessel was launched on 7 September 1996.
Truman has a displacement of 116,400 tons, making her one of the heaviest ships afloat. She is 1,092 feet in length and has a beam of 252 feet across her flight deck. Propulsion is provided by two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors powering four steam turbines. The vessel carries a crew compliment of 3,200 officers, seamen in addition to an air wing consisting of 2,480 pilots and aviation support personnel.
Repairs and Upgrades
Following her maiden deployment, Truman entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a "planned incremental availability" (PIA) between 5 September 2001 and 5 December 2002. During a PIA, mechanical issues are addressed and adjustments and repairs are made. The carrier underwent a second yard period for scheduled maintenance and repairs at the same facility between August 2003 and February 2004.
During most of 2006, the Truman was laid up at the Norfolk Yard, undergoing system upgrades as well as preventative maintenance that addressed minor defects around the reactors. From July 2008 until February 2009, Truman underwent her third PIA at the Norfolk yard.
The Truman spent her first two years in the water in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia conducting flight deck certifications – in essence, tests of the ship's equipment and its ability to effectively launch and recover aircraft – as well as intensive crew training.
Truman was deployed to the Persian Gulf in late November 2000 as part of Operation Southern Watch. She returned to port six months later.
After her initial PIA, Truman was deployed to the eastern Mediterranean in December 2002. During her deployment, she visited several Mediterranean ports as part of the US Navy's diplomatic function, stopping at Portsmouth England on the way home. She dropped anchor at Norfolk in May 2003, where she remained until the following February.
In 2004, Truman was ordered back to the Mediterranean for Summer Pulse 04, followed by Operation Majestic Eagle in June and July of that year. In November, she returned to the Persian Gulf in support of combat and security operations. Truman returned to the States in April 2005.
September of that year found Truman's crew providing relief to victims along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She remained in the area for the next five weeks.
Tragedy struck the carrier in August of 2007 when an E-2C Hawkeye – a prop-driven early warning aircraft - crashed after taking off. All three crew member were lost. That November, Truman was once again deployed to the Persian Gulf.
When Truman returned to the States in June 2008, she stopped at NS Mayport (Florida) to host a "Tiger Cruise" (during which crew member's families come aboard as guests) prior to returning to her home port.
As of December 2010 Truman had recently returned from a six-month deployment during which she participated in maritime security operations in the Mediterranean, Suez Canal and Red Sea, supporting inspections of merchant ships for contraband weapons.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75)
As a newer carrier, the asbestos risk aboard the Truman is fairly negligible. The use of asbestos aboard American naval ships was phased out beginning in the early 1980s, and existing asbestos aboard older vessels was largely removed during the early 1990s.
While all branches of the service deployed asbestos-containing products in various facilities and installations, exposure to asbestos was much more pervasive aboard ship, and as a result there are far more navy mesothelioma victims than in other services. By the time of Truman's service, asbestos was no longer in use and those living or doing repair work aboard her probably weren't subjected to high levels of asbestos from that source.
If asbestos-containing material becomes worn it becomes friable, which means that fibers can be broken off and escape into the air, allowing them to be breathed in by ship's crew or dockworkers, leading to mesothelioma. When asbestos is inhaled or ingested, microscopic fibers become lodged in the mesothelial layer, a narrow layer of cells which surrounds and buffers the heart, lungs, and stomach, and eventually this infiltration can cause mesothelioma. Unfortunately, the prognosis in mesothelioma cases is not usually positive - most mesothelioma victims have a life expectancy of less than two years after they are diagnosed. The survival rate of mesothelioma victims is quite low - but treatments like radiation for mesothelioma can offer some hope and may increase life expectancy. To assist malignant mesothelioma patients with finding the best treatment and care options, we created a free Mesothelioma Treatment Guide with comprehensive data on clinics, treatments, and drug trials.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should be aware that you may have legal options available and a good mesothelioma attorney can help you determine a course of action. Reliable information on malignant mesothelioma is not always easy to find, so we have created a mesothelioma information packet with complete information on legal options and treatment choices, along with a list of mesothelioma clinics in the United States. Just fill out the form on this page and we'll send you a packet, at no cost to you.Sources
Polmar, Norman. The Naval Institute Guide to Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet. (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2004.)
USN. "USS Harry S Truman Official Website" (http://www.truman.navy.mil/). Retrieved 15 December 2010.