USS Enterprise joins two other U.S. carrier groups in Persian Gulf
ABU DHABI — The U.S. Navy has deployed its nuclear-powered aircraft
carrier the USS Enterprise — the longest naval vessel in the world and
which carries 66 aircraft — for Gulf operations. Officials said this marked
the second deployment of the Enterprise in the Gulf in 14 months.
The Enterprise, which left the Gulf in November 2006, is to join the USS
John C. Stennis and USS Nimitz carrier strike groups. Officials said the
return of the Enterprise would enable rotation of the other two carrier
strike groups in the region.
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"The carrier and her escorts will assert their right to operate
throughout the region," the navy said. "These ships can operate together as
one single strike force or dispersed to execute multiple missions
The carrier strike groups have been operating near the Iranian coast. In
June, the navy conducted a major exercise in the Straits of Hormuz, the
passage for 30 percent of global oil shipments, Middle East Newsline reported.
Gulf Cooperation Council states have been alarmed by the Iranian threat.
Iran has occupied three islands claimed by the United Arab Emirates. An
Iranian daily has asserted that Bahrain, host to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, was
part of Iran.
"Regular deployments of the strike groups to the Middle East are not
designed to provoke any of the Gulf countries," the navy said.