Several days ago we reported on the news that the USS Nimitz and Carrier Strike Group 11 (CSG-11) were ordered to return home to San Diego after finishing a seven-month deployment. Because of restrictions regarding COVID-19, to ensure crew readiness prior to deployment, the crew had been isolated from their families since April. The Nimitz CSG was operating off Somalia with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). According to the Navy, their mission was to support the repositioning of some 700 U.S. troops from Somalia to other countries in East Africa.

After that mission was accomplished, the Nimitz and her escorting vessels, the Guided Missile Cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59), the Guided Missile Destroyers USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), USS Sterett (DDG-104), USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) and one or more nuclear attack submarines, were detached and slated to return to their various homeports in Hawaii and the West Coast.

That all changed when Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller issued a statement on January 3, 2021. The terse statement was comprised entirely of this.

“Due to the recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Trump and other U.S. government officials, I have ordered the USS Nimitz to halt its routine redeployment. The USS Nimitz will now remain on station in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. No one should doubt the resolve of the United States of America.”