US Navy Strike Group Headed by Nuclear-Powered Carrier Deploying to Red Sea in High Stakes Mission

A new American aircraft carrier group will be heading to the Red Sea, where American forces have been under attack by Houthi rebels since mid-November.

The USS Harry S. Truman strike group will replace the strike group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which has downed dozens, if not hundreds of Iran-supplied missiles and drones launched by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have attacked Red Sea shipping in support of Hamas in its war against Israel, according to Stars and Stripes.

Deployment could be months away, it reported.

“They know that they’re most likely going to be entering a weapon engagement zone,” said Adm. Daryl Caudle, the leader of U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Command.


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“I believe, personally, that puts higher stakes on why what we do [in training] is so important. … For this group, this [deployment] is not with the mindset that they’re just going to go drill holes in the water somewhere — this is, ‘We’re going to be employed for combat,’” he said.

Caudle said the roughly 6,000 service members on the carrier know what to expect.

“I think people join a combat service, you know, to be part of a combat team. They want to go and actually exercise that and do what they do for a living and … be stressed to the ultimate limit out there,” he said.

Will the conflict in the Red Sea soon escalate?

“In the Red Sea right now, we’re bringing the full complement of naval combat power to bear. … But we want to deter conflict. That is the main effort. There is nothing that does that more than 100,000 tons of diplomacy in an aircraft carrier,” he said.

The Truman is nuclear powered and has about 90 aircraft, including F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, E-2D Hawkeye command and control aircraft, E/A18 Growler electronic warfare jets, and MH-60 Seahawk helicopters.

“They have to be prepared on a moment’s notice to conduct engagements,” Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, the Navy’s surface warfare director, said Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “And they have to get it right every single time.”

“The threats they’re engaging [in the Red Sea] are unmanned, they’re anti-ship cruise missiles, they’re anti-ship ballistic missiles, and in each one of those threat groups we’re performing well,” Pyle said. “And the systems and the sailors are performing as designed and great.”

Pyle said using costly weapons to swat at Houthi drones has led the Navy to make developing cheaper responses a priority, according to Breaking Defense. Through April, the Navy has used $1 billion worth of missiles to respond to Houthi attacks, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said.


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“We’re working towards that end, and we have some solutions that I can’t go into, but we are going to get after finding more cost-effective ways to address those lower-end threats,” said.

Attacks come almost daily.

For example, U.S. Central Command announced on Monday that U.S. forces downed three Houthi missiles or drones after downing one drone the day before and four weapons launched by the Houthis the day before.

According to the Times of Israel, a Panama-flagged oil tanker has reported it was hit by a missile on Saturday in the Red Sea.

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