The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) steams the Atlantic Ocean during a simulated straits transit with the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (GRFCSG) in the Atlantic Ocean, 9 October 2022. The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group was deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, conducting training and operations alongside NATO allies and partners since 5 October 2022. On deck are aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8).
A US Navy carrier strike group is headed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as Israel prepares for a large-scale campaign against Hamas in Gaza.
The USS Gerald R. Ford, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was sailing with the Italian Navy earlier this week, according to the ship’s social media, putting it close to Israel.
The carrier will be accompanied by guided missile destroyers and guided missile cruisers, which are two other classes of Navy warship.
Statement From Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on U.S. Force Posture Changes in the Middle East
My thoughts continue to be with the people of Israel and the many families who have lost loved ones as a result of the abhorrent terrorist attack by Hamas. Today, in response to this Hamas attack on Israel, and following detailed discussions with President Biden, I have directed several steps to strengthen Department of Defense posture in the region to bolster regional deterrence efforts.
I have directed the movement of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean. This includes the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), as well as the Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). We have also taken steps to augment U.S. Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region. The U.S. maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this deterrence posture if required.
In addition, the United States government will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions. The first security assistance will begin moving today and arriving in the coming days.
Strengthening our joint force posture, in addition to the materiel support that we will rapidly provide to Israel, underscores the United States’ ironclad support for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli people. My team and I will continue to be in close contact with our Israeli counterparts to ensure they have what they need to protect their citizens and defend themselves against these heinous terrorist attacks.