By: Gidget Fuentes, USNI News
“The new year began with no U.S. aircraft carrier and carrier strike group on watch in the Middle East.
The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group returned home two days earlier, having spent four of its seven-month deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet region conducting missions and strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria after 10 days of operations from the Mediterranean while in U.S. 6th Fleet.
The late-November exit of Eisenhower (CVN-69) from the Persian Gulf created a carrier gap that remains today, pending the arrival of USS George W.H. Bush (CVN-77). Bush left Norfolk, Va., on Jan. 21 and today was transiting the Atlantic on course for the Mediterranean.
But the volatile Middle East region wasn’t devoid of U.S. military projection from the sea. For almost two months – and through the nation’s transition to a new administration – the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, aboard the three-ship Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, has been standing post.”
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