US Military Makes Moves to Bolster Presence in Middle East, USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Moves Into Position
By Space Coast Daily // October 26, 2023
(FOX NEWS) – U.S. military forces are maneuvering ships throughout the Middle East to amass one of the largest collections of war ships in the region in decades, according to reports.
Making its way halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is moving toward a group of U.S. naval ships in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Once there, it will make its way through the Suez Canal to the Persian Gulf.
The fleet consists of the USS Gravely and USS Mason, both destroyers, and the USS Philippine Sea, a guided-missile cruiser.
The strike group was first tasked to join the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group in the Eastern Mediterranean, but it has since been issued the change of plans.
Once the fleet reaches the Persian Gulf, it will mark the first time since the evacuation of Afghanistan that a U.S. carrier strike group will operate in the Middle East.
U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) News reported that France is also sending an amphibious warship to join U.S. and U.K. forces as a deterrence to keep the war between Israel and Gaza from spreading to other parts of the region.
On Tuesday, U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed that the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived within U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, adding additional F-16 fighting Falcon Squadrons into the mix to deter further aggression in the region.
The U.S. Navy announced last week it would be sending the USS Mount Whitney to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea as tensions in the Middle East rise amid the Israel-Hamas war. The ship left Gaeta, Italy last week to join the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group.
Also in the area is a special operations capable Marine rapid response force of nearly 2,000 Marines and sailors known as the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is moving closer to Israel via the Red Sea. The group includes the amphibious ready groups USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall.
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