IslamNews – The US Navy’s Nimitz carrier strike force has left the Middle East after a nine-month deployment abroad that was extended to keep pressure on Iran, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby declined to tell reporters whether any specific event had influenced Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s decision to send the carrier home, nor whether the United States’ assessment of the potential for hostile Iranian activity in the region had changed.
“It is a balancing act between requirements and the capabilities on hand,” Kirby said, adding, “The secretary believes that we have a robust presence in the Middle East to respond.”
“It would be imprudent for us to think this is based on a specific piece of intel in a specific part of the world,” he said.
USNI first reported the decision to bring the Nimitz back to the United States. Following a late December decision to send the supercarrier home, the Nimitz was ordered to return to the Middle East in early January amid public threats from Iranian leaders against US officials.