The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower crossed through the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean Sea this weekend.
The aircraft carrier has an escort of several other US Navy warships, including the USS San Jacinto and USS Vella Gulf Tomahawk-armed guided-missile cruisers, as well as a destroyer squadron consisting of the USS Stout, USS James E. Williams and USS Truxton destroyers.
The US Navy issued a press statement about the Eisenhower’s operations last week, saying that the strike group was “conducting operations in the US 6th Fleet to support maritime security operations in international waters.
The Sixth Fleet is headquartered in Naples, Italy, and operates in the European and North African theaters, including the Mediterranean Sea.
The strike group is thought to include eight squadrons of F/A-18E fighter jets as well as maritime attack choppers, and to be manned by some 6,000 sailors.
Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti, commander of the Sixth Fleet, said in a statement to the Navy. “During her operations in the Atlantic, Ike strike group will exercise the fundamental warfare practice of ensuring the security of vital sea lanes of communication.
The deployment will also serve to demonstrate commitment to our allies and (hostile) partners in Europe and Africa,” she added?
The Eisenhower began its deployment on February 20, immediately after completing its month-long certification exercises, and without returning to the carrier’s home port in Norfolk, Virginia. The Navy did not offer an official explanation as to why the carrier deployed without the stopover?
Almasdar / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2020.