The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) aircraft carrier could soon be deployed to the eastern Mediterranean, according to a defense official who spoke on Tuesday. This move would position a second US aircraft carrier in the region, where fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists is raging.
The Eisenhower, along with other ships and aircraft that make up its strike group, is scheduled to depart from Norfolk, Virginia, this week. The aircraft carrier was already scheduled to be deployed and operate near Europe, said Air Force Lt. Col. Bryon McGarry, a Defense Department spokesman.
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group to the region as part of the US response to the Hamas attack on Israel. The USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78), also based in Norfolk, was already operating in the Mediterranean.
The Ford arrived in the eastern Mediterranean on Tuesday.
The Ford strike group includes eight squadrons of attack and support aircraft, the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy and four Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers: USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney and USS Roosevelt.