[Ed. – USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN-69) is the carrier on station in CENTCOM right now. But Ike can’t remain past July due to repair needs and resulting limitations. Nimitz (CVN-68) and Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) have both been rode hard and put away wet with deployment double-pumps over the last 18 months. Gipper’s (CVN-76) departure for CENTCOM will leave the Far East gapped at a bad time. This is the fallout from budget sequestration that gutted the maintenance reservoir for the carrier fleet in the Obama years. Warship maintenance is a very long-lead problem, and carriers are the worst.]
The American aircraft carrier based in Japan will make a rare deployment to U.S. Central Command to support the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan later this summer, two defense officials confirmed to USNI News on Wednesday.
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), its escorts and Carrier Air Wing 5 will replace USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and its strike group as part of the movement of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by the Sept. 11, 2021 deadline announced by the Biden administration earlier this year, the officials confirmed to USNI News.
The move to place the Navy’s forward-deployed carrier will be the first time the Japan-based strike group and air wing will operate in the region since the former USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) deployed to the Persian Gulf to cover the early invasion into Iraq in 2003.