Carrier Ike Now Operating in Mediterranean After Months in Middle East

July 27, 2020 11:32 AM
Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Philip Johnson flies in an MH-60S Knight Hawk, attached to the ‘Dusty Dogs’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 7, from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) on July 23, 2020. US Navy Photo

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) is now operating within U.S. 6th Fleet after spending the last several months in the Middle East, the Navy said today.

Ike moved into the Mediterranean Sea as the carrier continues its trip home. Eisenhower has been at sea for 192 straight days, according to the USNI News Fleet Tracker.

The Navy announced today that Carrier Air Wing 3, part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, spent the weekend participating in strike drills in the Mediterranean.

Capt. Trevor Estes, the air wing’s commander, said the Greek Karavia Range where the Navy carried out the drills offers “a truly unique training opportunity.”

“It gives my pilots the ability to train with precision-guided live ordnance in order to maintain current readiness levels and assure that the striking arm of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group will continue to be functionally sharp throughout our sustainment period at home,” Estes said in a statement.

Ike moved into the 6th Fleet area of responsibility late last week, as the carrier heads home after spending much of its deployment in the Middle East. Eisenhower is based out of Norfolk, Va.

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group had been operating within U.S. 5th Fleet since March, amid increased strain between the United States and Iran.

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) began operating in the Middle East region last week, just before Ike moved into the Mediterranean. Nimitz is the fourth consecutive aircraft carrier to sustain a presence within 5th Fleet.

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne is a reporter for USNI News. She previously covered the Navy for Inside Defense and reported on politics for The Hill.
Follow @MalShelbourne

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