The United States Navy announced on Saturday that the Dwight D. Eisenhower Aircraft Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG) arrived in the Middle East as part of an increase in regional posture.
It was deployed to the region amid the ongoing war between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas, which the United States has designated a terrorist group.
It is the same group that carried out the raid into southern Israel last month that killed more than 1,200 Israelis and took hundreds hostage.
U.S. Show of Force
IKECSG units departed their homeports of Norfolk, Virginia, and Mayport, Florida, on Oct. 13 & 14 for a scheduled deployment.
The U.S. Navy’s strike group is commanded by Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2 and comprised of flagship aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), guided-missile destroyers USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Gravely (DDG 107) of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 with its nine squadrons, and the Information Warfare Commander.
“The arrival of IKECSG to Middle East region displays our speed and agility to flex as our nation’s leaders determined a balance of maritime capability in support of national security priorities,” said Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, commander, CSG-2, IKECSG. “The strike group brings an unparalleled combat superiority to CENTCOM and we will be leveraging our presence in the theater to enhance regional security and operate alongside our allies and partners.”
United States Central Command (CENTCOM) shared images of the warships’ arrival to the region of its responsibility via X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Operating with the USS Gerald R. Ford
Prior to transiting the Suez Canal, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) drilled for three days in the Mediterranean Sea with the first-in-class USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) along with USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) and two Italian guided-missile frigates.
“Operating dual carrier strike groups alongside Allies and Partners in a dynamic environment demonstrates our capability and capacity to respond with agility decisively to any contingency,” Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet said in a Friday statement. “Our presence sends a clear signal about our commitment to deter aggression and promote stability throughout the region.”
The brief exercises marked the first time in decades – since the 2003 invasion of Iraq – that two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have sailed together in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
In addition, a pair of vessels of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group – USS Bataan (LHD-5) and USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked – have taken up station in the northern Red Sea along with at least three guided-missile destroyers, USNI News reported. The third ship in the ARG, USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19), is in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The United States Air Force has also deployed an unknown number of F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft to the Middle East. The U.S. military is ready to help deter any conflict from escalating in the region.
That means Iran should be watching very closely.
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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.
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