The US Navy announced a pivotal shift in its naval deployment, indicating the return of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the fleet’s newest aircraft carrier, from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the United States. This decision, as articulated by the US Sixth Fleet, is a response to a reassessment of the nation’s global naval requirements following the terror attacks by Hamas against Israel on October 7.
The USS Gerald R. Ford, an embodiment of naval superiority and the latest addition to the Navy’s carriers, is concluding its inaugural combat mission, an extensive eight-month deployment initiated on May 2. Commissioned in 2017, the Ford represents the first new design of carriers in over four decades and is characterized by the Navy spokesperson as the “most adaptable and lethal combat platform in the world.” The carrier, a 100,000-ton marvel equipped with F/A-18 Super Hornets, was strategically positioned off the Israeli coast following the devastating Hamas terror attacks that claimed over 1,200 lives.
The redeployment of the Ford was part of a larger strategy aimed at “regional deterrence and defense posture,” as stated by the Sixth Fleet. However, with the Ford’s departure, the USS Eisenhower stands as the only US aircraft carrier in the region amidst rising tensions due to continuous Houthi assaults on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. These attacks, a show of solidarity with Hamas, prompted a direct confrontation between US forces and Houthi units, leading to the sinking of three Houthi boats by US Navy helicopters in a defensive action.