Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) aircraft carrier and its strike group back home to the West Coast after a nearly eight month deployment.
This move by the Biden Administration was seen as a possible signal to Iran as an attempt to de-escalate tensions amid open negotiations on a new nuclear deal.
The Navy’s oldest carrier and its strike group have spent the last six-months operating mostly in the Middle East as tensions between Iran and the US have simmered with America’s increased military presence since May 2019, according to USNI News.
The Bremerton, WA based carrier and the San Diego based strike group holding 5,000 sailors and marines, have been deployed for over 240 day.
The Nimitz and strike-group were previously ordered to return back home just before the beginning of the year but got redeployed after threats from Tehran on the one-year anniversary of the assassination of the Iranian Military Leader Qasem Soleimani, according to USNI News.
"The US is on track to keep a carrier in the region for the foreseeable future and it’s unclear what carrier strike group will replace Nimitz. The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is training to deploy off the East Coast and the three ships of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group — deployed with a squadron of Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters — is operating off of Somalia," said the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday.
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