US Navy Pulls World’s Largest Warship Back to the United States Amid Global Force Reevaluation

US Navy Pulls World's Largest Warship Back to the United States Amid Global Force Reevaluation

The USS Gerald R. Ford, the world’s largest warship, is being withdrawn from the eastern Mediterranean Sea as the US Navy reevaluates its global force requirements.

The US Navy has announced that it is bringing back the USS Gerald R. Ford, the world’s largest warship, to its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia. This decision comes as the Navy reassesses its global force requirements in the wake of recent events, including Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7. The Ford, which embarked on its first combat deployment in May, has been stationed off the coast of Israel to contribute to regional deterrence and defense posture. With tensions escalating in the region due to Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, the USS Eisenhower remains the sole US aircraft carrier in the area.

The USS Gerald R. Ford: A Versatile and Lethal Combat Platform

The USS Gerald R. Ford, commissioned in 2017, is the newest aircraft carrier in the US Navy and the lead ship in the Navy’s first new carrier class in over 40 years. Weighing 100,000 tons, the Ford is described by a Navy spokesperson as the “most adaptable and lethal combat platform in the world.” Equipped with F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighters, the Ford has been a crucial asset in the US Navy’s operations in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Ford’s Deployment in Response to Hamas’ Attack on Israel

Following Hamas’ terror attacks that claimed the lives of over 1,200 people, the USS Gerald R. Ford was deployed to the eastern Mediterranean to contribute to regional deterrence and defense posture. Its presence was intended to demonstrate the US Navy’s commitment to the security of its allies in the region. However, as the Navy reevaluates its global force requirements, the decision has been made to bring the Ford back to the United States.

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The USS Eisenhower as the Sole US Aircraft Carrier in the Region

With the USS Gerald R. Ford heading back to the United States, the USS Eisenhower remains the only US aircraft carrier in the region. As tensions rise due to Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, the USS Eisenhower plays a crucial role in maintaining stability and security. Recent clashes between US forces and Houthi units have highlighted the need for a strong naval presence in the area.

Extensive US Naval Capability in the Mediterranean and Middle East

Despite the withdrawal of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the US Navy reassures that it retains extensive capability in the Mediterranean and across the Middle East. The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, capable of carrying Marine Corps F-35 stealth fighters, is operating alongside the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall and the amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde in the eastern Mediterranean. Additionally, US guided-missile destroyers, which have successfully intercepted Houthi drones and missiles in recent weeks, are also present in the region.

Operation Prosperity Guardian: Enhancing Maritime Security in the Southern Red Sea

To bolster security in the southern Red Sea, the US has initiated Operation Prosperity Guardian, a maritime coalition aimed at countering threats in the region. Collaborating with allies and partners, the US Department of Defense (DoD) seeks to deter any state or non-state actor from escalating the crisis beyond Gaza. This operation underscores the commitment of the US Navy to maintaining stability and safeguarding vital sea lanes.

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Conclusion: The decision to bring back the USS Gerald R. Ford to the United States marks a significant shift in the US Navy’s global force requirements. As tensions rise in the eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea, the presence of the USS Eisenhower and other US naval assets reassures allies and serves as a deterrent to potential threats. The US Navy’s commitment to maritime security and stability in the region remains unwavering, as demonstrated by Operation Prosperity Guardian and ongoing collaborations with allies and partners.