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US Force Posture Changes in the Middle East

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) photographed 04 October 2023 [US Navy photo: SCPO Jeffrey Richardson]

Statement from United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on US Force Posture Changes in the Middle East.

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For Immediate Release, Arlington VA, 08 October 2023: My thoughts continue to be with the people of Israel and the many families who have lost loved ones as a result of the abhorrent terrorist attack by Hamas. Today, in response to this Hamas attack on Israel, and following detailed discussions with President Biden, I have directed several steps to strengthen Department of Defense posture in the region to bolster regional deterrence efforts.

I have directed the movement of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean. This includes the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), 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). 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. The US maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this deterrence posture if required.

In addition, the United States government will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions. The first security assistance will begin moving today and arriving in the coming days.

Strengthening our joint force posture, in addition to the materiel support that we will rapidly provide to Israel, underscores the United States’ ironclad support for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli people. My team and I will continue to be in close contact with our Israeli counterparts to ensure they have what they need to protect their citizens and defend themselves against these heinous terrorist attacks.

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