Sailors assigned to the aircraft carriers USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) executed a cross-deck evolution in the Arabian Sea March 18.
The five-hour event allowed family members serving on each ship to spend some time with each other while on deployment.
The family members flew from the Eisenhower to Truman for the morning via an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.
“Any time we have the opportunity to do something like this, we will,” said Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, Truman’s commanding officer. “Being away from loved ones for one deployment is always tough, but offset deployment schedules are especially challenging for Sailors with family members who are also serving in the Navy.
"I often refer to the Navy as a family, but it is even more meaningful if Sailors have literal Navy family, and it is truly special when they get a chance to see each other while on deployment.”
The last time two aircraft carrier strike groups were in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations for an extended period was 2012.
Among those reunited were identical twin sisters Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Alexis Brothers, assigned to the “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72 embarked on Truman, and Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Alechia Brothers, assigned to Eisenhower’s security department.
“It’s so nice seeing her,” said Alechia Brothers. “When my chief pulled me into his office and asked me if I wanted to see my sister, I immediately turned around. I was crying because I missed her a lot.”
Also reunited were Lt. j.g. Kyra Deboni, assigned to the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 81 aboard Truman, and Lt. j.g. Lorenzo Deboni, assigned to the “Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 aboard Eisenhower, who have been married for nine months. Both have nearly four years of Navy service.
“It’s amazing,” said Lorenzo Deboni. “I’m so happy they set this up for us. This is the best part of deployment so far.”
Kyra Deboni said the opportunity made her appreciate the little things.
“With both of us being in the military, it can be tough at times,” she said. “It makes the time you do have together even more special, because you can go many months apart.”
By the end of the event, nine married couples, three pairs of siblings, and two pairs of cousins were given the chance to embrace, catch up on how the other was doing and offer some encouraging words. Although the time they were able to spend together was short, they all expressed gratitude for the opportunity.
Due to both ships being at sea for an extended periodsince their last port visit, there was minimal potential of transferring COVID-19 from ship to ship.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.