US Deploys Aircraft Carrier Strike Group to Support Israel

The Pentagon says it will also 'augment' fighter jet squadrons in the region

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on Sunday that he’s ordered the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean to show US support for Israel amid fighting in Gaza and southern Israel.

The strike group is led by the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford. Austin said the group also includes the “Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), as well as the Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).”

On top of the deployment, Austin said the US is increasing its presence of fighter jets in the region. “We have also taken steps to augment US Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region,” he said. “The US maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this deterrence posture if required.”

The US has shown strong support in the wake of the Hamas attack on southern Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring Israel is “at war.” Biden told Netanyahu on Sunday that additional military aid was on its way, and Austin said it includes “munitions” for the Israeli military.

Austin said the steps he announced “underscores the United States’ ironclad support for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli people.”

In just two days of fighting, over 1,000 people are dead, including over 600 Israelis and over 400 Palestinians. The situation is expected to escalate as Israel might launch a ground invasion of Gaza.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.