USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) transited the Suez Canal and is now operating in the Red Sea, according to the Navy.
Eisenhower joins the Truman Carrier Strike Group and the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group already deployed to U.S. Central Command, according to the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker.
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) has been operating in a tight area in the North Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman since relieving the Lincoln Carrier Strike Group in December.
The U.S. has had a near-continuous carrier presence in the Middle East since May as part of an ongoing effort to deter Iran.
Before transiting the Suez Canal, Eisenhower participated in cross-deck interoperability exercises with French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R91) in the Mediterranean Sea.
Eisenhower and its escorts departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on Jan. 17 to conduct a series of complex exercises certifying the ships and aircraft are ready to deploy. In a rare move, the strike group completed these exercises and started the current deployment without first returning to port, USNI News previously reported.
The deployment is Eisenhower’s first since completed its latest repair period. The 40-year-old carrier ended up spending 18 months in the repair yard – three times what had been expected. Eisenhower’s repair took so long, the Navy opted to deploy the Truman Carrier Strike group for the second time in two years to fill the gap created by the repair delays.
However, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) experienced its own delays leaving port, caused by an extensive electrical malfunction in August. Truman was to relieve Lincoln, which ended up spending 295 days away from homeport, more time deployed than any carrier since the mid-1970s.