Washington’s deployment of a second aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean is a sign of the US’s “ironclad commitment to Israel’s security”, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has said.

Sending the USS carrier Dwight Eisenhower and its strike group to join the USS Gerald R Ford carrier in the region demonstrates Washington’s “resolve to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this war”, Lloyd said.

The two aircraft carriers will join a growing US force, including three US Air Force squadrons already deployed, as part of efforts “to deter hostile actions against Israel”, the statement added.

Statement from Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on Deployment of USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean

I have directed the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (CSG) to begin moving to the Eastern Mediterranean. As part of our effort to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts toward widening this war following Hamas’s attack on Israel, the Strike Group includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), guided-missile destroyers USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Mason (DDG 87), and Carrier Air Wing 3, with nine aircraft squadrons, and embarked headquarters staffs.

The Eisenhower CSG will join the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, which arrived earlier this week. The Ford CSG includes the USS Normandy, USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney, and USS Roosevelt.  Earlier in the week, the U.S. Air Force announced deployment to the region of squadrons of F-15, F-16 and A-10 fighter aircraft.

The increases to U.S. force posture signal the United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and our resolve to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate this war.