The US Department of Defense has ordered the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean to provide assistance and support to Israel following Hamas’ land-sea-air attack on Israel that occurred on October 7, 2023.
The attack has so far claimed over 700 lives, with over 2,200 wounded, and over 100 kidnapped. At least four US nationals were killed in the attack.
The Israeli government has now formally declared war on Hamas and given the green light for “significant military steps” to retaliate against the Palestinian Sunni-Islamic group.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the US Navy fleet’s largest, newest and most technologically advanced aircraft carrier. The carrier strike group is deployed with more than 6,000 sailors across all platforms. It can carry over 75 aircraft, including several squadrons of Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters.
“I have directed the movement of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean,” Lloyd J. Austin III, US Department of Defense secretary said in a statement.
“This includes the US 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).”
In addition to the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, the US Air Force is also augmenting its F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.
The US government said that it will also be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions.