The United States Department of Defense (DoD) will deploy a second carrier group near Israel to deter regional powers from joining the war against the Middle Eastern nation, which is now engaged in the heaviest fighting in over a decade. Israel formally declared war on Hamas following a wave of terrorist attacks over the weekend.
Already, the United States Navy has deployed the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the newest and largest nuclear-powered supercarrier in the U.S. fleet, along with its strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean. The flotilla arrived off the coast of Israel on Tuesday.
The Ford Carrier Strike Group has been in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility since May.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) further announced on Sunday that steps had been taken to augment U.S. Air Force F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region. The U.S. maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this posture if required.
On Tuesday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal first reported that the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group could also head to support U.S. forces in the region. The Nimitz-class nuclear-powered carrier was already scheduled to sail this week for the Middle East and is expected to arrive within two weeks.
“The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group will depart from Norfolk, Va., in the coming week in line with its standard deployment schedule,” a Navy spokesperson Lt. Caroline Leya told Navy Times on Wednesday.
Deterrent to Iran
Pentagon officials had been mulling whether the carrier strike group would be deployed closer to Israeli waters or maintain a presence closer to Iran.
The Islamic Republic, which has supported Hamas, is suspected of providing training to Hamas forces that carried out the daring raids – which included paragliders, watercraft, drones, and demolition teams. The attack on Israel, which has left hundreds dead while at least a hundred more were taken hostage, has been seen as the country’s greatest intelligence failure since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
The operation included direct attacks on Israel’s air defense network, the destruction of barriers along the border that allowed the infiltration of armed groups of militants for the purpose of murder and kidnapping, and a substantial rocket assault on the southern half of the country.
The U.S. Will Stand By Israel
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States will stand by Israel, and described the attack carried out by Hamas to be “pure unadulterated evil.”
“We’ll make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of itself,” Biden said in an address from the White House.
U.S. officials have also said that Israel has been offered air defenses and munitions, which will be sent to the country as quickly as possible. Israel’s military has claimed to have regained control inside the country. At the same time, it ordered a “full siege” of Gaza, which means that no food, gasoline, or power would be allowed into the densely populated area.
It is believed that at least 11 Americans had been killed, and the White House said “it is likely” that some Americans are now being held hostage.
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.