Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, then the commanding officer of the Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) carries a bouquet of flowers for his wife following the ship's arrival at its forward-deployed port of Gaeta, Italy Oct. 27, 2017. (U.S. Navy/ Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Rebeca Gibson)
NORFOLK, Va. -- The new skipper of one of America's aircraft carriers fled Iran as a child.
Now, he's preparing for a deployment that could take him back to the region at a time of heightened tensions between the two nations that helped mold him into who he is today.
Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh took command of the USS Harry S. Truman in July, achieving a goal he set for himself 30 years ago after he first laid eyes on an aircraft carrier in Norfolk. Back then, he was a young sailor who'd joined the Navy straight out of high school to serve a country he had only lived in for about a decade.
His journey from Tehran to enlisted sailor to an officer in command of the ultimate symbol of American seapower is a story that he believes serves as a testament to the opportunities the United States provides.
The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and ships assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) transit the Atlantic Ocean while conducting composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) on February 16, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford)
The Pentagon reportedly plans to send one of its Nimitz-class aircraft carriers into early retirement at least two decades early, shrinking the carrier fleet to save billions of dollars.
Thousands of sailors assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group will return to Naval Station Norfolk this week just three months after deploying – part of a defense strategy intended to infuse more unpredictability into how the military operates.