A heavily-armed US carrier strike group has moved into position near Iran as tensions mount
Ryan PickrellMay 16, 2019, 22:46 IST
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln transits the Indian Ocean in this U.S. Navy handout photo dated January 18, 2012.REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric S. Powell/Handout
The USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group has moved into position near Iran as tensions between Washington and Tehran rise.
The strike group's arrival in the northern Arabian Sea follows that of a task force of B-52 heavy, long-range bombers, which recently completed their first deterrence patrol in the region.
These assets have been deployed to US Central Command to deter Iran, which the US believes may have been plotting attacks on US interests.
A US aircraft carrier and its strike group are on station in the north Arabian Sea to check Iran, which the US has accused of plotting attacks on US interests in the region.
The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and the cruiser and destroyers escorting it are currently operating in the north Arabian Sea, Fox News reported, citing defense officials. The carrier is sailing with an air wing consisting of dozens of capable F/A-18 Hornet fighters, while the escorts are carrying hundreds of hard-hitting land-attack cruise missiles.
These military assets were deployed last week to the US Central Command area of responsibility along with a bomber task force, a missile defense battery, and other capabilities in response to what CENTCOM characterized as "clear indications that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were making preparations to possibly attack US forces in the region."
CENTCOM announced earlier this week that US forces in the region are on "high alert."
The movement of a massive deterrence force to CENTCOM was reportedly triggered by satellite images showing Iranian-backed forces loading up small boats with missiles.
The intelligence that sparked the latest escalation in tensions between the US and Iran is reminiscent of April 2015, when the Obama administration sent the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier into the area as a show of force after detecting possible ballistic missile movement.
The first assets to arrive in the area in response to Iranian threats were four B-52H Stratofortress heavy, long-range bombers, which conducted a deterrence patrol on Sunday alongside F-15C Eagles and F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters that were recently moved to the region.
In addition to deploying tons of firepower into the region, the US has also begun taking other precautions to protect American lives, including ordering all non-emergency government personnel to evacuate Iraq. Some US allies followed suit, temporarily suspending their missions in country in response to an elevated threat.