The Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike group was ordered to the Middle East instead of joining forces with Gerald R. Ford in the eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Israel, as planned.
USNI News page of the US Naval Institute reported on October 23 that the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike group is moving to the area controlled by Central Command (CENTCOM) instead of joining forces with the carrier group and flying Gerald R. Ford in the Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Israel. CENTCOM oversees operations in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and Israeli territory.
This is one of the orders issued by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on October 22 to strengthen the readiness of the US military in the Middle East.
This move changed from the plan because the battle group included the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the cruiser USS Philippine Sea, the destroyers USS Gravely and USS Mason, which on October 14 received orders to mobilize to the east. Mediterranean. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has spent days completing pre-deployment inspections and is moving in the western Atlantic.
The deployment will mark the first time a US aircraft carrier group has been present in the Middle East since Washington withdrew its troops from Afghanistan in August 2021.
On October 8, the Pentagon deployed the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and accompanying warships to the eastern Mediterranean to show its might after Hamas’ coordinated attack.
The US is increasing its vigilance against pro-Iranian militia groups in the Middle East amid escalating regional tensions due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. US bases in Iraq have suffered many attacks by rockets and suicide drones (UAVs) recently, causing damage to equipment and injuring a number of US soldiers suspected of having concussions.
On October 22, Secretary Austin ordered many military units to be ready to deploy but did not reveal the specific number and composition. The Pentagon also announced the dispatch of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and multiple Patriot air defense battalions to the Middle East.