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Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Returns Home Following Lengthy Deployment Combatting Houthis in the Red Sea

The U.S. Navy’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group departed from the Red Sea region over the weekend after an almost eight-month-long effort to halt the Houthi drone and missile attacks on commercial shipping in the crucial waterway.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder announced that the carrier strike group officially exited the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility and would sail through the Mediterranean Sea back to the United States.

The Houthis, identified as a U.S.-designated terrorist group, have been disrupting the Red Sea shipping lane for months with missiles and drones carrying explosives.

A Zaidi Shiite Islamic faction, the Houthis initiated their attacks in October, following the conflict between Israel and Hamas—another U.S.-designated terrorist organization—in the Gaza Strip.

The Houthis claim they are targeting commercial vessels linked to Israel and its allies and have vowed to continue these assaults as long as the Gaza conflict persists.

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and its members have intercepted dozens of incoming Houthi missiles and drones, protecting numerous commercial ships navigating through the Red Sea.

The carrier has also conducted numerous aerial sorties, facilitating strikes on suspected Houthi targets in Yemen, including Houthi targets in Yemen.

The strike group had its Red Sea deployment extended twice as the Houthi persisted in their attacks.

CENTCOM reported that the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group accumulated over 30,000 flight hours and covered more than 55,000 miles during its deployment.
“We are all proud of the contributions made by the sailors of the Ike Strike Group to regional maritime security during a challenging deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. Safe travels home for a well-deserved rest,” Vice Adm. George Wickoff, the commander of the Navy’s CENTCOM component said in a June 23 social media post.

Despite their efforts, the strike group was unable to prevent every Houthi attack.

The Houthis have inflicted damage on several commercial ships using missiles, drones, and most recently, an explosive-laden remote-controlled boat.

At least two ships, the MV Rubymar and MV Tutor, have sunk due to the damage caused by these attacks. One sailor lost their life in the Tutor attack earlier this month.

Three merchant sailors also lost their lives in March when Houthi missiles struck the Barbados-flagged bulk carrier vessel MV True Confidence. Several other sailors were injured in these incidents.

Nevertheless, the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group’s mission in the Red Sea marked one of the most intense periods of naval combat for the U.S. Navy since World War II.

CENTCOM reported on June 23, following the strike group’s departure from the Red Sea, that the Houthis had attacked the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk cargo carrier MV Transworld Navigator as it traveled from Malaysia to Egypt.

The crew of the vessel sustained minor injuries, and the ship itself suffered moderate damage but was able to continue its voyage.

The U.S. military revealed that this was the fourth attack on the Transworld Navigator.

Maj. Gen. Ryder announced on June 22 that the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group would replace the Eisenhower group in the Red Sea from the Indo-Pacific region in the coming days, continuing where the Eisenhower group left off.

The Pentagon spokesperson assured that the United States would maintain “a robust presence in the Indo-Pacific region” even as the Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group relocates away from that operational area.

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