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Towards strength and security: USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group moves to the Eastern Mediterranean

The United States has begun moving USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean. This includes the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), as well as the Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). We have also taken steps to augment U.S. Air Force F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region. The U.S. maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this posture if required.

“USCENTCOM stands firmly with our Israeli and regional partners to address the risks of any party seeking to expand the conflict,” said General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, Commander, U.S. Central Command.

Carrier Strike Group Twelve (CSG-12 or CARSTRKGRU 12) is one of four U.S. Navy carrier strike groups currently assigned to the United States Fleet Forces Command. USS Gerald R. Ford is the aircraft carrier assigned as the strike group’s flagship. Units currently assigned to Carrier Strike Group Twelve included Carrier Air Wing Eight; the Ticonderoga-class cruisers Vicksburg and Normandy; and Destroyer Squadron 2. Carrier Strike Group Twelve was the first U.S. Navy carrier strike group to deploy with a Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) capability that integrates all units via a data link to gain a more comprehensive overview of its operational battlespace.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is an aircraft carrier for the United States Navy and the lead ship of her class. The ship is named after the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, whose World War II naval service included combat duty aboard the light aircraft carrier Monterey in the Pacific Theater. Construction began on 11 August 2005, when Northrop Grumman held a ceremonial steel cut for a 15-ton plate that forms part of a side shell unit of the carrier.The keel of Gerald R. Ford was laid down on 13 November 2009. She was christened on 9 November 2013. Her first deployment departed 4 October 2022. As of 2017, she is the world’s largest aircraft carrier, and the largest warship ever constructed.

The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM or CENTCOM) is one of the eleven unified combatant commands of the U.S. Department of Defense. It was established in 1983, taking over the previous responsibilities of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF). Its Area of Responsibility (AOR) includes the Middle East (including Egypt in Africa), Central Asia and parts of South Asia. Of all seven American regional unified combatant commands, CENTCOM is among four that are headquartered outside their area of operations. CENTCOM’s main headquarters is located at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida. In January 2021, Israel became the 21st country of the AOR, added to another 19 nations including Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

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