uss harry s. truman

Trump Administration Reverses Decision to Retire USS Harry S. Truman Early

Mike Schuler
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May 1, 2019

File photo shows the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-79) underway in the Atlantic Ocean in September 2018. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

The Trump Administration is reversing the Department of Defense’s earlier decision to decommission the 1998-built, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman early.

Vice President Mike Pence made the formal announcement on Tuesday in front of servicemembers on board the Truman.

“@Potus me to deliver a message today — We are keeping the best carrier in the world in the fight! We are NOT retiring the Truman! The USS Harry S. Truman is gonna“Give ‘Em Hell” for many years to come!” Pence later wrote on Twitter, echoing parts of his speech. 

President Donald Trump also addressed the issue in a similar tweet on Wednesday amid a slew of angry tweets about the Democrats, Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, and the Russia investigation.

“I am overriding the Decommission Order of the magnificent aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, built in 1998 (fairly new), and considered one of the largest and finest in the world. It will be updated at a fraction of the cost of a new one (which also are being built)!” Donald Trump wrote on Wednesday.

Trump’s decision comes after the Department of Defense unveiled a plan in March to skip the Truman’s multi-billion midlife nuclear refueling and overhaul in 2024 as a way to cut costs. Retiring the carrier early would result in the shrinking of the Navy’s aircraft carrier fleet from 11 to 10, a reversal on Trump’s previous calls for a dozen aircraft carriers.

It was unclear what the administration’s plans are with regards to updating the USS Harry S. Truman.

According to a report in The Hill, the announcement about the Truman seems to contradict testimony by Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier Tuesday morning, during which he said that retiring the Truman will allow the Navy to fund new technologies such as drones.

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