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Nimitz Leaves Red Sea

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An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to land on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on Oct 5, 2013. US Navy Photo

An F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to land on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on Oct 5, 2013. US Navy Photo

The American aircraft carrier that has been on standby in case of a flare up in Syria has left the Red Sea for a brief stint in the Mediterranean Sea, Navy officials told USNI News on Monday.

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and guided missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) transited the Suez Canal on Sunday to enter the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet area of operation for a port visit and international training.

The movement of the carrier into the Mediterranean was not a show of force toward the Bashar Al-Assad regime, a Navy official told USNI News.

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has been on station in the Red Sea since early September as a contingency force backing up four guided missile destroyers on station in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The destroyers currently on station near Syria are: USS Stout (DDG-55), USS Ramage (DDG-61), USS Barry (DDG-52) and USS Gravely (DDG-107).

The rest of Nimitz CSG — USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-100), USS Stockdale (DDG-106), USS Shoup (DDG-86) and cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59) — has departed the region a few weeks ago en route to homeport, the Navy said.

Following the port visit and the training, Nimitz will transit the Suez again and before returning to its homeport in Everett, Wash.

Nimitz entered the region in June and was planned to be relived by the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). The Nimitz CSG was extended as a contingency force for a potential limited strike on Syria.

Categories: Aviation, News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

  • Joseph Hansen

    You might check the caption on that photo-that Hornet appears outbound since we can see his tailpipes glowing.