(Bloomberg) — The USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group will leave the eastern Mediterranean Sea more than two months after being sent to the region following Hamas’ attack on Israel in October, ABC News reported.
The carrier and other surface ships that form the strike group will head back to their home port of Norfolk, Virginia, in the “coming days” as originally scheduled, a senior US official and a US official told the outlet. The carrier group is returning to the US to prepare for future deployments.
The US will still have military capability in the region and flexibility to deploy additional cruisers and destroyers in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the senior US official told ABC.
A Defense Department spokesman told ABC that they had nothing to announce today.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed the naval group to the region the day after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. The carrier was sent to the region to bolster regional deterrence, Austin said at the time, in an effort to prevent the conflict from widening into a wider regional one.