US Bolsters Maritime Security in the Middle East Amidst Iranian Threats.

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Deployment of Additional Warships and Marines

The US is taking measures to increase security in the Middle East following Iranian attempts to seize commercial ships in the region. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved the deployment of the USS Bataan amphibious readiness group and the 26th Marine Expeditional Unit to the Gulf region. This deployment aims to provide even greater flexibility and maritime capability to safeguard the area.

Components of the Deployment

The USS Bataan amphibious readiness group includes three ships, with the Bataan serving as the amphibious assault ship. The expeditional unit typically comprises around 2,500 Marines. While the announcement from US Central Command did not disclose the names of the ships, US officials, speaking anonymously, revealed that the group consists of the USS Mesa Verde and the USS Carter Hall, alongside the Bataan. The group departed from Norfolk, Virginia, earlier this month, and it remains uncertain if all three ships will proceed into the Gulf region.

Enhanced Presence in Response to Iranian Activity

The recent deployment comes on the heels of prior decisions to send the USS Thomas Hudner, a destroyer, along with F-35 and F-16 fighter jets to the region. A number of A-10 attack aircraft have also been present in the area for several weeks. The fighter jets aim to provide air cover for commercial ships navigating through the Strait of Hormuz and boost the military’s visibility in the region as a deterrent against Iran.

Upholding International Order and Deterring Destabilizing Activities

General Erik Kurilla, who leads Central Command, emphasizes that the additional forces, in collaboration with partner nations, are crucial in safeguarding the free flow of international commerce and maintaining the rules-based international order. The deployment serves to deter Iranian destabilizing activities in the region, ensuring the safety of commercial shipping in these waters.

SOURCE: Ref Image from KAAL

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