The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is launching air missions as part of the international coalition’s anti-ISIS effort, the Navy announced on Wednesday.
The service in a news release said Carrier Air Wing 3, which is operating from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in the Mediterranean Sea, launched aircraft for Operation Inherent Resolve.
“Our strike group is ready and capable of providing direct, long-range combat operational air support from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. CSG-2’s presence in U.S. Sixth Fleet shows the flexibility of our naval forces to conduct operations whenever and wherever necessary,” Carrier Strike Group Two commander Rear Adm. Scott Robertson said in the release.
“We can provide a wide range of options to our nation and allies in deterring adversarial aggression and disruption of maritime security and regional stability,” he continued.
The sorties come the same day the French ministry of defense announced that aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) assumed the helm of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force 50, as reported by Naval News, which noted this is the carrier’s second stint leading the task force. The French carrier previously led the command element between December 2015 and March 2016.
According to Naval News, Eisenhower is expected to assume control of the task force from Charles de Gaulle next month. The American aircraft carrier is still operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. East Coast carrier strike groups typically use the Suez Canal to enter the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and U.S. Central Command. But hundreds of ships were recently delayed from transiting the waterway because of a stuck container ship that blocked passage through the canal for nearly a week.
The sorties from Eisenhower come after ISIS this week took responsibility for an attack on the Mozambique town of Palma, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Multiple Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers – USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), USS Mahan (DDG-72), USS Mitscher (DDG-57) and USS Laboon (DDG-58) – make up the Ike carrier strike group, in addition to guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61).