Washington has opted to reinforce its presence in the Middle East, signaling an increase in air defense capabilities for the region and the deployment of a squadron led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, as announced by the U.S. Secretary of Defense on Sunday.
Originally, the 44-year-old Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, was intended to be the latest addition to the region, with the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford set to operate in the Mediterranean. However, the Ford was redirected to Israel in the Mediterranean, and the USS Eisenhower, along with its accompanying escort ships, were also ordered to head in that direction.
The plan to have two carriers stationed near Israel and Gaza has been reinstated in light of the situation in the Middle East, with the ships transiting through the Suez Canal. The Eisenhower’s Carrier Strike Group includes the USS Philippine Sea (Ticonderoga class) and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Gravely and USS Mason. Typically, a nuclear submarine is also part of such squadrons.
In addition to the USS Eisenhower and its escort ships, THAAD and Patriot air defense systems will be dispatched to the region.
In recent developments, it was reported that one of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, while operating in the Mediterranean as part of the Carrier Strike Group led by the USS Ford, was sent through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea. There, the USS Carney successfully intercepted several rockets and drones launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Additional reports indicate that the Carney intercepted not three but four cruise missiles and managed to thwart 15 drones. Given the trajectory of these weapons from Yemen, it is believed that the cruise missiles were potentially targeting locations in Israel.
Although the U.S. Navy has not disclosed the specific weaponry employed by the USS Carney to eliminate the nineteen threats, it is likely the Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) was used. Official information regarding the armaments possessed by the Houthi rebels is limited. Notably, the distance from Yemen to Israel exceeds 1,600 km, and experts suggest that the rebels could have the capability to strike Israel from North Yemen, potentially with Iran-supplied Quds cruise missiles.
About the author: Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson, a small tech business owner retired and found his passion in journalism.