American Carrier Strike Group Forward Deployed and On Standby For Orders to Intervene in Ukraine - Commander

The United States Navy has deployed a carrier strike group led by the Nimitz Class supercarrier USS Harry Truman to the Mediterranean Sea within operational range of Ukraine, in a move specifically aimed at providing Washington with options for intervention in Ukraine. 

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said its mission included “deterring” Russia and implementing a potential no fly zone over Ukraine should the White House give the order, stressing: “The role of Truman, with other allies, is to deter Russians from further aggression and to be on constant standby for orders that might be given from our president or from other leaders around the world for the protection of Ukraine and the people of Ukraine.” The commander added regarding the presence of Russian assets near to the strike group’s area of operations: “There are numerous Russian ships and subs in the Mediterranean today and that’s why it’s important for NATO to have an equal presence, to deter them. The only thing that Putin understands is strength.”

Russia maintains military facilities in Syria in the Eastern Mediterranean, and shortly preceding the outbreak of war in Ukraine it deployed MiG-31K strike aircraft for patrols over the sea from Syria armed with hypersonic weapons ideally suited to tackling carrier groups at range.

 Neutralising facilities in Syria would likely precede an attack on Russian forces in Ukraine should it be launched from the Mediterranean, as growing numbers of U.S. lawmakers call for Western military intervention to shoot down Russian aircraft operating in Ukrainian airspace. Such no fly zones have frequently preceded air campaigns to attack enemy ground forces, as seen in Iraq and Libya where no fly zones were followed by the destruction of enemy ground forces. 

The USS Harry Truman’s combat aircraft include F-18E/F Super Hornet medium weight fourth generation fighters and E/A-18G Growler electronic attack jets, which are supported by E-2 airborne early waring aircraft. Super Hornets have been heavily involved in the U.S. air campaign in Syria and very frequently violated Syrian airspace. 

They form almost all carrier based fighter units in the U.S. Navy. The strike group’s escorts deploy Tomahawk cruise missiles for long range precision strikes, as well as a wide range of missiles for air defence although none of these are thought to be able to neutralise hypersonic anti ship missiles deployed in Syria. 

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