The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Has Been Fighting Houthis For Months With Little Sign Of Relief

  • Houthi rebels are attacking ships in the Red Sea in response to the war in Gaza.
  • The USS Eisenhower is locked in a fierce battle against the rebels.
  • The Navy wants to bring the ship home, but CENTCOM wants it to remain deployed.
  • The Pentagon is now trying to decide what to do.

( – Yemen’s Houthi rebels have spent months attacking ships in the Red Sea. The militants have claimed they are going after ships with ties to Israel in response to the war against Hamas. The US Navy is now locked in its most ferocious battle since World War II. One aircraft carrier is at the forefront of the fighting.

USS Eisenhower

The Navy deployed the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Red Sea nine months ago from Norfolk, Virginia. The carrier, a strike group, and 7,000 sailors are trying to protect the commercial shipping vessels that the Houthis are persistently attacking.

The Eisenhower has had its deployment extended twice. According to a profile in The Associated Press, the sailors aboard the ship pass memes between one another about getting short breaks. The Pentagon is currently weighing whether to listen to the Navy and bring the Eisenhower and its warships back to the US.

The ship will have to go back to the US at some point for maintenance. Navy leaders have also expressed concerns about the mental health of the sailors on the ship. They can see the Houthi missiles aimed toward Eisenhower before the ship’s defensive capabilities destroy them. Leaders at the Department of Defense are preparing to offer the sailors treatment for post-traumatic stress syndrome.

The Navy could send another carrier to the Red Sea but the US only has 11. There’s also a possibility that the Pentagon could ask an ally to send one of their carriers, but most countries only have one or two.

A Necessity

Commanders in the Middle East have argued that they need an aircraft carrier in the region. They claim that the carrier has kept Iran from joining in the fight against Israel. The commanders have also said the aircraft carrier gives them unique and critical war-fighting capabilities in the war against Houthi rebels.

The carrier is capable of launching fighter jets quickly and there aren’t limits on the Navy fighters the same way there are on the Air Force, which has to take off from bases located within other countries in the Middle East. The former commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), retired Marine General Frank McKenzie, said the carrier allows the military to bring “an offensive platform that’s mobile and agile” and has fewer restrictions because “it’s sovereign US territory.”

CENTCOM wants the Eisenhower to remain on deployment. The Pentagon is still weighing its options.

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