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.