• The Navy’s new aircraft carrier is returning to the US after being sent into waters near Israel.
  • The USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group was sent to stop the Israel-Hamas war from expanding.
  • The CSG’s deployment was repeatedly extended.

The US Navy is finally bringing the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group home after it was abruptly tasked to the eastern Mediterranean in response to the Israel-Hamas war and kept at sea longer than planned.

The Ford carrier strike group was sent to the eastern Mediterranean in October during its first full deployment in an effort to “contribute to our regional deterrence and defense posture,” the Navy said in a statement.

The sudden outbreak of violence in the Middle East, which started with the 10/7 Hamas terror attacks, continued with Israel’s war against Gaza, and has since spread, led to repeated extensions of the Ford CSG’s deployment. The strike group has been at sea for over 240 days, per USNI News.

In the coming days though, the new first-in-class carrier and its escort ships will return to its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia.

As fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas in October, the new supercarrier made its way toward the unfolding crisis accompanied by the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney, and USS Roosevelt.

The US later sent the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group into the Mediterranean and the Middle East for added deterrence.

Some of the warships with the Ford and Eisenhower strike groups have been operating in the Red Sea, where they have responded to Houthi missile and drone attacks on commercial shipping.

The mission of the naval forces present in the area has been to show support for Israel after the attacks by Hamas and also deter additional attacks.

The US has also provided other military support. “The United States government will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions,” US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, said in October. Additional air assets were also deployed to the area.

Even though the Ford carrier strike group is redeploying to its homeport to prepare for future tasking, the Navy will continue to maintain a presence in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

That presence will include elements of the Eisenhower CSG and additional warships, such as the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and dock landing ship USS Carter Hall, which are joining the transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde to form an Amphibious Ready Group.

“The Department of Defense continually evaluates force posture globally and will retain extensive capability both in the Mediterranean and across the Middle East,” the Navy release says.

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