CELEBRATING THE AMAZING A 2016 Plainfield East High School graduate and Bolingbrook, Illinois, native returned home June 16, marking the end of a seven-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman. Since departing its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia in November 2019, the aircraft carrier sailed in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Petty Officer 3rd Class Tristan M. Bush is a master-at-arms aboard the carrier. As a master-at-arms, Bush is responsible for law enforcement. “I enjoy helping people,” said Bush. “This job always has you on your toes and it’s something different every day.” Following a scheduled return from deployment in March, after operating in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations, Truman remained underway in the Western Atlantic as a certified and ready carrier force ready for tasking. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, the Truman continued to conduct operations underway, minimizing the potential spread of the virus aboard the ships, in order to maintain maritime stability and security and ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests.
The USS Harry S. Truman. (NAVY)
Truman sailed more than 56,000 nautical miles, deploying dynamically to support dual-carrier operations, air defense exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises, and interoperability with joint services and with allies and partners. The ship also completed multiple strait and choke point transits, to include the Strait of Gibraltar, the Suez Canal and the Bab-el Mandeb Strait, while operating under three Combatant Commanders – U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), U.S. European Command (EUCOM), and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). “My proudest accomplishment this deployment is becoming dual warfare qualified, and for the Navy, it’s been working my way up the petty officer ranks like my father before me,” said Bush. Truman demonstrated the Navy's continuing regional commitment to EUCOM and CENTCOM areas of responsibility by hosting 80 embarked guests, including political and military leaders from eight ally and partner nations. These embarks directly supported U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet theater security objectives and greatly enhanced U.S. relationships and partnerships with multiple NATO ally and partner nations and Gulf Cooperation Council members. “I’m so very proud of all our sailors!” said Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, commanding officer of Truman, “Their resilience, perseverance, and utter dedication to mission has been nothing short of exemplary. It has been my greatest honor to serve as Truman’s commanding officer this deployment!”
According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea. The foundation of the Navy the nation needs includes a focus on warfighting, warfighters and the future of the fighting force. Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard Truman. More than 6,000 men and women serve aboard the ship during deployment keeping all parts of the ship running smoothly. Each crewmember performs a number of tasks outside of their traditional job or rating. “I’m a key member of the reaction force and small caliber action team,” said Bush. “I conduct security patrols in support of antiterrorism, physical security and law enforcement operations, and man various weaponry during shipboard drills, emergencies and maritime operations.”
Throughout the deployment, Truman performed numerous training exercises to develop tactical competencies. From carrier strike force operations as the flagship of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, to exercises with partner navies and forces, the ship developed key skillsets to maintain readiness and interoperability. While conducting stability operations in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, the strike group was called upon during an international crisis to assert American commitment to the region and act as a primary de-escalatory catalyst. Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Bush, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Bush is honored to carry on the family tradition. “My father, grandfather, great-grandfather and two uncles all served in the military,” said Bush. “My father served aboard USS Sacramento during Vietnam, my uncle, Jeffery Bush, was a submariner aboard the USS Barb and my other uncle, Joseph Donato, served aboard the USS Fletcher.” As a member of the U.S. Navy, Bush, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow. “I joined the military to keep nearly 100 years and four generations of tradition going in the Bush family,” added Bush.
-By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach