Carriers Swapping Out Middle East Duty

Aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) is set to depart the Red Sea while a carrier currently on station in the Pacific is planned to head to the Middle East to continue a U.S. presence mission in the region, USNI News has learned.

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While Ike and its cruiser escort will transit to the Mediterranean Sea, the destroyer escorts will stay in U.S. 5th Fleet, a U.S. official told USNI News on Friday. Additionally, flight spotters tracked Eisenhower’s C-2A Greyhound detachment flying from the U.S. 5th Fleet base in Bahrain to the Mediterranean.

The decision comes as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin elected not to extend the Navy’s second-oldest carrier for a third time, the official confirmed. As of Friday, the carrier had been deployed for more than eight months. USNI News reported earlier this month Ike has deployed for more days than any other U.S.-based carrier for the last five years.

“Time to bring them home,” the official said.

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