Thursday, July 9, 2020

Inkster sailor completes 7-month carrier deployment

A 2011 Inkster High School graduate returned home June 16, marking the end of a seven-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman. Since departing its homeport of Norfolk, VA in November 2019, the aircraft carrier sailed in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Lorenzo H. Bonner is a personnel specialist aboard the carrier. As a personnel specialist, Bonner is responsible for supporting overall command readiness.
“My job on many occasions consist of emergency travel,” said Bonner. “Whether a member is injured or a loved one is hurt or worst case, passes away, I love the fact that I know the job well enough to confidently accomplish my job to get my fellow sailors back home.”

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.
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).
“I've been on many deployments since I arrived to Norfolk  and checked onboard the Harry S. Truman, and through all of them, I can say I'm proud just to have served with my fellow sailors to protect our home,” said Bonner.
Truman demonstrated the Navy's continuing regional commitment to EUCOM and
“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.
“The training department is very important for many reasons,” said Bonner. “First, command readiness. Part of being command ready means all sailors need Government Travel Cards for if something goes wrong with loved ones or for personal reasons. Also, to give sailors the opportunity to attend schools to support the ship's mission.”

“My role in Training Department is titled as a Defense Travel System Agent (DTS),” added Bonner. “I handle the processing of members temporary additional duty orders, emergency travel and entitlements for the members that have to travel. I am also one of the Agency Program Coordinators for the command, dealing with government travel card applications and accounts.”
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.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Bonner, 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 Navy simply to create a better future for myself and my family,” added Bonner.