On October 8, the United States pulled its last remaining aircraft carrier out of the Persian Gulf for at least two months as it goes in for “maintenance.” The move came after Russia began shooting long range missiles toward Syria from its ships in the Caspian Sea. Though “Carrier gaps” have occurred previously, this one has occurred in the middle of the Iranian Nuclear Deal, and Russian airstrikes.
It is the first time since 2007 that the United States will not have an aircraft carrier in the Gulf.
The Navy says there is no problem for the U.S., as most of the airstrikes are carried out by the Air Force. But the removal of the USS Theodore Roosevelt required CENTCOM to write it off.
According to CNN,
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The Pentagon has a formal military requirement to keep at least one carrier in the gulf region at all times, so U.S. Central Command had to approve the decision to have a gap, according to a defense official.
What was going on?
In the great “strategy” of the Obama Administration, why has this occurred now, just as Russian warships and jets have made a huge move in the Middle East?
There is no doubt that the ship needs maintenance, considering recent military budget cuts and all the headaches that go with just doing “hull swaps” (changing crews without changing ships).
“Overextending the Navy in 2010 to 2013 caused our need to recover maintenance and readiness that caused this gap. The increased frequency and extension of carrier strike group deployments increased wear on the force, which led to increased maintenance and repair requirements and lengthened maintenance availability periods. That recovery time is now upon us.” Navy Official
But the timing is odd.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt was sent to intercept Iranian weapons shipments back in April of 2015. The danger of Iran’s movements and Russian aggression in the region make this a tough time to be taking a break from the rules.
The Pentagon announced that they had taken measures to “ensure” that there was a safe distance between American and Russian airstrikes. But make no mistake, Russia has noticed the absence of the United States in the Gulf. Let’s just hope that the replacement carrier, the USS Harry Truman, will arrive sooner than later.
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