DEBKAfile Reports: Two US carrier-strike groups are bound for Persian Gulf region, bringing number back to three DEBKAfile’s military sources report that from the third week of July, the only American strike force- carrier in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea region was the USS Enterprise. By the end of September, it will be joined by the USS Nimitz and the USS Truman Strike Groups.
Our sources note that with their arrival, three American naval, air and marine forces will again confront Iranian shores at a time of crisis in the military and civilian leadership of Iran - signaled by the abrupt change of Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders, rising Israel-Syrian tensions and a troubled situation in Lebanon.
The Nimitz left the region to take part in large-scale Malabar 2007 II exercise with five Asian nations, termed by Indian military observers “the first step towards establishing Asian NATO. Since the maneuver ended Friday, Sept. 7, the Nimitz has been on its way back to the Persian Gulf.
The Truman group, made up of 12 warships and submarines, including a nuclear sub, with 7,600 sailors, air crew and marines aboard, has just completed a long series of training exercises and is preparing to set out for its new posting. It carries eight squadrons of fighters, bombers and spy planes. The Truman force’s battle cry is: “Give ‘em hell”.
The combined naval strike groups include the Monterey-CG 61 guided missile cruiser, the USS Barry DDG 52 and USS Mason-DDG 87 guided missile destroyers, the USS Albuquerque-SSN 706 fast nuclear strike submarine and the combat logistical USNS Arctic T-AOE 8. In the last week of August, the USS Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group took up position opposite the Lebanese coast amid trepidation over the September presidential election.
Our military sources reported that aboard the group’s vessels are members of the 22nds Marine special operations-capable Expeditionary Unit, who are ready to execute landings on Lebanese beaches.