US carrier and amphibious strike groups left the Red Sea region

In a surprising move, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, an aircraft carrier, and the USS Gravely, a destroyer, left the Red Sea and sailed through the Suez Canal to find their new station in the eastern Mediterranean, as announced by the US Navy. 

US Carrier and amphibious strike groups left the Red Sea region
Photo credit: Alamy Stock Photo

The Eastern Mediterranean is now the new home to the Eisenhower and the Gravely after they completed their transit from the Red Sea in an operation that took place on a recent Friday. These vessels made the passage via the Suez Canal, an important geopolitical and trade waterway. 

The departure of these significant naval assets, particularly the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, from the Red Sea is indeed a notable occurrence. According to USNI News, which is known for its affiliation with the US Navy, this is the first instance since last October that the US Central Command area has been left without an aircraft carrier strike group or an amphibious ready group. 

In an operational update, the US Navy stated that it had successfully carried out the transit the of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower [CVN-69] and the USS Gravely [DDG-107]. This bold maneuver was performed following a nearly four-month-long deployment in the Red Sea. 

A news release from the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa confirms the Eisenhower, which is the flagship of the Carrier Strike Group Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Gravely, have made their way to the Eastern Mediterranean. However, the Navy remains tight-lipped about the duration of their stay at this new station. 

For the first time since last October, the Red Sea finds itself devoid of an aircraft carrier or an amphibious readiness group, putting the strategic waters in an unusual situation.

On October 13, the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, affectionately known to Americans as Ike, set its course for the Red Sea and took part in Operation Prosperity Guardian. According to the USNI News timeline, the aircraft from Ike and Gravely intercepted and eliminated a range of Houthi drones and anti-ship missiles while stationed in the Red Sea. 

In a recent press release, Rear Adm. Mark Migues, the Commander of Ike CSG, praised the significant contribution that the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike group made over five months to the U.S. 5th Fleet. “Our return to the US 6th Fleet demonstrates our unfaltering ability to project combat superiority across the globe,” he added. 

The USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker reported that the Western Atlantic had been used as a training site for the aircraft carrier strike group Harry S. Truman, which was expected to replace Eisenhower. 

With Eisenhower now absent from the Red Sea, the U.S. Central Command region is left without the support of a carrier strike group or an amphibious readiness group. This is the first time such a situation has occurred since October when Israel’s subsequent bombardment of Gaza followed the Houthi offensive in response to Hamas attacks on Israel.  

Houthi leader Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi recently highlighted the withdrawal of US ships from the Red Sea in a post on Telegram. He emphasized that the US naval presence had diminished considerably and many of its warships had spread across the Red Sea.

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