The Pentagon announced earlier this week that it was sending the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier nicknamed “Ike”, to the Middle East in response to an increasing number of attacks on US facilities.
The US claimed that the attacks were by Iranian-backed groups as tensions escalate amid the conflict between Hamas and Iran on the one hand and Israel on the other.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement that this decision comes following recent escalation by Iran and its proxy forces throughout the Middle East, and also comes to strengthen the position of the Department of Defense in the region.
He added that these steps will strengthen regional deterrence efforts and increase protection to US forces in the region, as well as help defend Israel.
The US Navy explained that the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier of the Navy.
The ship was first commissioned in 1977 and participated in a number of historical events, including the Gulf War in the 1990s.
According to Reuters, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has about 5,000 sailors and can carry up to nine squadrons of aircraft (more than 60 aircraft), such as fighter jets, helicopters, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations aircraft.
Eisenhower will be accompanied by other ships such as the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea, and the guided-missile destroyers Gravely and Mason.