Home » Aviation » Roosevelt Strike Group Departs Gulf, 9 U.S. Warships Now Near Yemen

Roosevelt Strike Group Departs Gulf, 9 U.S. Warships Now Near Yemen

Helicopters fly from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on April 13, 2015. US Navy Photo

Helicopters fly from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on April 13, 2015. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include additional information from Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).

Nine U.S. warships have moved closer to Yemen — including the bulk of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (CSG) — pulling U.S. forces away from the ongoing airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) militants, U.S. Navy officials told USNI News on Monday.

The Navy announced the Roosevelt CSG had left the Persian Gulf on Sunday along with guided missile destroyer USS Normandy (CG-60).

“In recent days, the U.S. Navy has increased its presence in this area as a result of the current instability in Yemen,” read the statement.

“The purpose of these operations is to ensure the vital shipping lanes in the region remain open and safe. The United States remains committed to its regional partners and to maintaining security in the maritime environment.”

The security situation in Yemen has steadily deteriorated since the overthrow of former president Abdu Rabbu Mansour in January by Houthi rebels.

Shortly after the ouster, Saudi Arabia began a military effort of Arab allies against the Houthi’s with logistical support from the U.S.

“The coalition’s warplanes have carried out hundreds of airstrikes, targeting military bases and positions held by the Houthis and their main allies, military units and security forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ceded the presidency in 2012,” reported The New York Times on Sunday.

The nuclear carrier Roosevelt and Normandy joined the part of the Roosevelt CSG — guided-missile destroyers USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98), USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) — “conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and the Southern Red Sea,” the service said.

The Associated Press reported the CSG had been moved to intercept a suspected shipment of Iranian arms to rebels.

The ships will join the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group — comprised of USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), USS Fort McHenry (LSD- 43) and USS New York (LPD-21) and the 24st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), already in the vicinity.

The U.S. has also sent two Avenger class mine countermeasures (MCM) ships — USS Dexterous (MCM-13) USS Sentry (MCM- 3) in the vicinity of Yemen, service officials told USNI News.

The following is an overview of confirmed and probable ships near Yemen updated as of April, 20. Image courtesy of the Center for International Maritime Security

The following is an overview of confirmed and probable ships near Yemen updated as of April, 20. Graphic courtesy of CIGeography and Political Geography Now.

The Navy also has three Military Sealift Command ships in the region— supply ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE-10) and oilers USNS Laramie (T-AO-203) and USNS Arctic (T-AOE-8) —bringing the U.S. total to 12.

The total amount of naval vessels in the region near Yemen could be as high as 30, according to information collected by the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) and updated on Monday.

Some ships — like from the Indian Navy and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) — are in support of non-combatant evacuations (NEO) from the country.

While other ships from countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt are protecting regional trade and security interests.

As to the ongoing anti-ISIS strikes — Operation Inherent Resolve — its unclear what affect the departure of Roosevelt and its air wing will have on the ongoing campaign.

Earlier Monday, it was announced French carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) had left the Persian Gulf bound for India.

Combined Joint Task Force OIR (CJTF-OIR) officials declined to comment directly to the departure of the Roosevelt CSG’s air wings from the anti-ISIS strikes.

“As a matter of policy, we won’t go into detail about the specific resources at our disposal,” read a statement to USNI News.
“The CJTF has the resources necessary to conduct operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve”.

  • I’ll say this, Things are going to HEAT up really fast and someone please pass me the Popcorn. This is gona get messy and Interesting.

    • Steve Skubinna

      Not with this administration. We’ll slink away.

      • Obama is showing how much he’s a foreign policy failure. The world is burning and obama is showing how much he sucks at Foreign policy.

        • Mac

          It would not surprise me if somebody in the WH wasn’t supplying Intel to Iran on the QT.

          • Tom Lowe

            Yeah, because we already know the WH supplies Israel with plenty of illegal intel on the QT.

    • Tom Lowe

      What an ignorant, stupid attitude, and exactly why I look down at so many Americans. I hope the thing arrives to your living room so you find out how messy and interesting it really is.

  • Steve_in_MA

    Oh please, Iran, make the mistake of taking on the Roosevelt.

  • 2IDSGT

    Ah… “mowing the grass” here and there with airstrikes sure beats walking around in 114 degree heat with 80-120 pounds on your shoulders. Let the natives do all that.

  • Steve Skubinna

    Okay, identifying USS Normandy as a destroyer may be an innocent mistake, but how can you then type her hull number, “CG-60” and not say “hey, wait a minute?”

    • Capt Woody Sanford

      Could CG indicate missile cruiser or coast guard?

      • AncientSubHunter

        Capt.! Considering how some want to fill out TO & E’s today, they might be one and the same!

      • Rexford L

        US Navy cruisers have been many types over the years, Armored Cruisers (ACR) that have a light belt of armor on the hull, Protected Cruisers (C) that have no external armor but light armor over the machinery spaces (Both of those were invented/used +/- 20 years around 1900. Next came the Light Cruisers (CL) and Heavy Cruisers (CA) those were in service from WW1 till 1975, and now you have Guided Missile Cruisers (CG) which the early ones were converted CL’s or CA’s the ships currently in service with the US Navy are all Ticonderoga class CG’s.

        • Capt Woody Sanford

          Full explanation, Sir! Thanks very much. What armament do the CGs carry besides the missiles?

    • AncientSubHunter

      Agreed, Steve. I have been following USNI news for a couple of months and have been unimpressed with the quality and substance of the journalism. I hope this was just a thoughtless error on the part of the author (considering his maritime background).

      And as can be clearly seen across all “news” sources on the Net, no one employs “the Editor” anymore.

  • WretchedRefuse

    Too bad the militants won’t fly. It would be interesting to see some NIFC-CA LFT&E.

  • AncientSubHunter

    Unlike Steve from MA, I am not so optimistic. In the Arabian Sea, the waters provide for an extremely poor ASW environment – that is, if you are the one defending against a potential submarine attack…along with the busy shipping lanes and presence of a variety of naval vessels from several different nations, finding an Iranian Kilo (or any other “hostile” nation’s sub that might see this as a political/historical opportunity) will be very difficult if not impossible, even for another submarine.

    All it takes is one torpedo in the side of any US Navy aircraft carrier…that would be the greatest achievement in post-WW2 naval warfare history.

    Consider all of our ASW assets…the CVBG’s, the VP presence (how much training have the crews had in practical ASW in general, and Central Asian water environment in particular), and do we have enough SSN presence (this is short notice)?

    We didn’t train enough during the Cold War and I know the overall ASW training since 9/11 has been wholly inadequate.

    Once again I shake my head at the myopathy of the admirals. (History just continues to repeat itself with numbing, cyclical regularity…perhaps those Eastern philosophers were on to something).

    I forget, does anyone know how many sonobuoys the Hornet F can carry?

    I wish well the Rough Rider, her crew and all the friendly bubble heads involved in force protection.

    • Rexford L

      one torpedo (unless it’s a nuke) into the side of one of our Nimitz class carriers won’t even slow it down. Even detonating one under the keel won’t sink it, but will cause more damage than one into the side of the ship.

      • AncientSubHunter

        “One in the side” was a term we used to describe any number of the types of attacks the CV could suffer. I appreciate your taking that sentence literally.

        Sinking isn’t important to a nation like Iran or North Korea. If you blacken the eye of the world’s super power that is all that matters…bragging rights. The current administration most likely will not retaliate in a manner worthy of the humiliation. And any kind of attack on a CV will be a humiliation greater than Dec. 7th or Sept. 11th.

        On the subject of sinking, I appreciate your belief in the supremacy of the Nimitz class; having sailed on the Nimitz, TR and Lincoln with CAG-8 I’m aware of the”unsinkable” claims…however, history is rife with admirals and politicians certain their navy had nothing to fear from “inferiors.”

        One hopes that our intel is keeping track of the Kilos and we were wise enough to have more than one SSN asset in theater.

        There are a wide range of scenarios to consider and in that environment it might not be an Iranian Kilo that takes the shot. There are a lot of folks out there interested in keeping the US in its downward momentum.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        • Tom Lowe

          “There are a lot of folks out there interested in keeping the US in its downward momentum.” Yeah, like 20 million hostile invaders who are robbing your country blind every single day while you sit there with your thumb up your bum discussing ‘bragging rights’ as if war and politics were ping pong.

    • Tom Lowe

      “perhaps those Eastern philosophers were on to something”. Well, whatever you think it might have been, obviously you missed it. It’s called “being friendly, being honest, and getting along with your neighbors”. Try reading some Confucius–he makes it plain enough for even someone like you to understand.

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