WWIII Watch: US Dispatches Second Carrier Group to Eastern Mediterranean Sea

The USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group left Norfolk Naval base this weekend headed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to join the USS Ford Carrier Strike Group in a show of force by the US as part of a stated effort to deter a widening in the Middle East of the war between Israel and Gaza in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attack massacre of Israelis last weekend. The deployment of the Ike to the Med was scheduled before the Hamas attack, but Austin’s statement of purpose makes its war footing mission official.

NORFOLK, Va. – The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) deploys from Naval Station Norfolk, Oct. 14, 2023. The Ike Carrier Strike Group will conduct a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility in support of enhanced vigilance activites and operations with NATO Allies and partners. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anderson W. Branch)

The Defense Department has also deployed air assets, including A-10s, to the region.

CNN reported this weekend the Pentagon is considering moving a Marine amphibious assault group closer to the shores of Israel (excerpt):

In addition, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, a rapid reaction force capable of conducting special operations, is making preparations in case it is ordered closer to Israel to bolster the US’ force posture there, multiple US officials tell CNN.

The unit, which is on board the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, is comprised of more than 2,000 Marines and sailors and would be capable of supporting a large-scale evacuation. Among the mission essential tasks for a Marine Expeditionary Unit are evacuation operations and humanitarian assistance.

No such order has been given yet to the unit, the officials said.

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin:

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.

The Navy and the Ike posted photos and video to mark the deployment:

https://twitter.com/USFleetForces/status/1713367545749602697

https://twitter.com/TheCVN69/status/1713360750868140289

US Navy statement on the Ike’s deployment:

NORFOLK, Va. – Aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (IKE), departed on a scheduled deployment, Oct. 14.

The strike group is scheduled to deploy to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility where it will engage with allies and partners in support of maritime statecraft, which encompasses naval diplomacy and national efforts to build comprehensive U.S. and allied maritime power.

“Each entity that comprises IKECSG has worked exceptionally hard over the last several months, and we are ready to bring maritime power in support of any tasking,” said Rear Adm. Marc Miguez, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, IKECSG. “Our presence will undoubtedly strengthen relationships with our allies and partners, as we share the goal to deter aggression, and if required, deliver overwhelming combat power.”

he flagship Dwight D. Eisenhower will join guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), who departed Naval Station Norfolk, and guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), who departed Naval Station Mayport, Oct. 13.

The IKECSG is an integrated combat weapons system that delivers superior combat capability to deter, and if necessary, defeat America’s adversaries in support of national security. It is comprised of more than 5,000 Sailors of CSG-2 staff, commanded by Miguez; flagship Dwight D. Eisenhower, commanded by Capt. Christopher Hill; Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 squadrons, commanded by Capt. Mitch McCallister; Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff and units, commanded by Capt. David Wroe; guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), commanded by Capt. Michelle Nakamura; and the Information Warfare Commander, Capt. Mitchell Finke.

“President Eisenhower once said, ‘never send a battalion to take a hill if a regiment is available.’ As the flagship of the strike group, the Mighty IKE is ready to provide overwhelming air power to deter aggression and promote world peace,” said Hill. “We trained rigorously for this deployment, and we are excited to celebrate the Navy’s 248th birthday by sending the best damn ship in the Navy to sea.”

The strike group’s deployment coincides with the Navy’s birthday weekend, marking 248 years of power, presence, and protection. The aircraft carrier’s deployment coincides with President Eisenhower’s birthday on Oct. 14 and is days ahead of the aircraft carrier’s 46th year of commissioned naval service on Oct. 18. IKECSG’s deployment embodies the Navy’s historical and long-standing commitment to being forward deployed, highly trained, and dedicated to defending American interests at sea, on land, and in the sky.

The Italian Navy Carlo Bergamini-class frigate ITS Virginio Fasan (F 591) will integrate with IKECSG during the deployment. IKECSG practiced interchangeability and transfer of authority with Fasan during CSG-4-led composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) in July.

Squadrons of CVW-3 include the “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105, the “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, the “Rampagers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83, the “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, the “Screwtops” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123, the “Zappers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 130, the “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7, the “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 and the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40.

Ships of DESRON 22 include guided-missile destroyers Mason and Gravely.

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Kristinn Taylor has contributed to The Gateway Pundit for over ten years. Mr. Taylor previously wrote for Breitbart, worked for Judicial Watch and was co-leader of the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com. He studied journalism in high school, visited the Newseum and once met David Brinkley.

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