Pentagon says the U.S. maintains a strong presence in the region
The U.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz is returning home after spending nearly a decade overseas amid tensions with Iran, the Pentagon has confirmed.
The Navy’s only aircraft carrier operating in the Middle East, the Nimitz has left the Arabian Sea and the Fifth Fleet, after more than 270 days of deployment.
The ship is now in the Indo-Pacific on her way back to the United States, said Pentagon senior spokesman John Kirby.
“We don’t make decisions like this lightly, and there are a lot of factors to consider, especially when you’re talking about a strike group that’s been at sea and deployed for so long, 10 months, so you have to consider the wear and tear on the ship itself and the impact on the sailors,” Kirby said.
“[Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin] believes we have a strong presence in the Middle East. He believes this decision is in the national interest,” the Pentagon spokesman added.