The U.S. Navy carrier strike group and U.S. Air Force bombers deployed to the Middle East to counter Iran conducted simulated strike drills near Iran this weekend as tensions between Washington and Tehran remain high.
The U.S. began deploying numerous troops and military assets to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility last month in response to intelligence indicating that Iran was plotting attacks on U.S. interests in the region.
If you are worried that the deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and a cadre of bombers to the U.S. Central Command theater is a major military escalation that could spark a war with Iran, take several deep, cleansing breaths.
The strike group originally left Norfolk, Virginia, in April as part of a regularly scheduled deployment, during which the Lincoln will literally sail around the world to arrive at its new homeport in San Diego — and while the carrier had been scheduled to transit the CENTCOM area of responsibility, its arrival there has simply been accelerated "in order to defend American forces and interests in the region," a defense official told Task & Purpose on Monday.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits the Strait of Gibraltar, entering the Mediterranean Sea as it continues operations in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility in this April 13, 2019. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Clint Davis)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is deploying a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East in response to troubling "indications and warnings" from Iran and to show the United States will retaliate with "unrelenting force" to any attack, national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.
With two U.S. aircraft carriers operating in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time since 2016, it would be hard for Russia to miss the intended message.
But to hammer the point home, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman visited the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on Tuesday, according to a 6th Fleet news release.
"Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean at this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy," Huntsman said in the news release. "Diplomatic communication and dialogue coupled with the strong defense these ships provide demonstrate to Russia that if it truly seeks better relations with the United States, it must cease its destabilizing activities around the world."
Ships from the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and other cruiser-destroyer units based at Naval Station Norfolk sailed into the Atlantic earlier this month for the East Coast's first Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training, or SWATT, exercise with a carrier group.