Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the Ford carrier strike group to sail to the Eastern Mediterranean to assist Israel after the surprise attack by Hamas, which left over 1,000 dead and thousands wounded.
The USS Gerald R. Ford, the Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier, will be accompanied by cruisers and destroyers in a show of force to respond to anything, from possibly interdicting additional weapons from reaching Hamas and conducting surveillance. The large deployment underscores the concern that the United States has in trying to deter the conflict from growing.
The Israeli government formally declared war on Sunday and gave the green light for “significant military steps” to retaliate against Hamas. Preliminary reports indicate that at least four American citizens were killed in the attacks and an additional seven were missing and unaccounted for. Most, if not all, of those reported dead or missing are dual U.S.-Israeli citizens.
Along with the Ford, the U.S. is sending the cruiser USS Normandy, destroyers USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney, and USS Roosevelt, and augmenting Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region. The Biden administration will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions.
President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the taking of hostages by Hamas terrorists, stressing that all countries must stand united in the face of such brutal atrocities. The House is preparing a bipartisan resolution that says it “stands with Israel” and condemns “Hamas’ brutal war.” The resolution from the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to be among the first items considered for voting once the House elects a new speaker.