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U.S. Military Presence in Southwest Asia Continues To Grow

The U.S. military buildup around Israel continues to grow. Yesterday, the Pentagon announced that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has placed approximately 2,000 personnel and a range of units on a heightened state of readiness through a prepare-to-deploy order, “which increases DOD’s ability to respond quickly to the evolving security environment in the Middle East,” according to a statement issued by Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh. “No decisions have been made to deploy any forces at this time,” she added.

At the same time, Austin also extended the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The Ford had been nearing the end of its six-month deployment but instead will remain there, and will be joined by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower strike group in about a week to ten days. Each carrier air wing includes four squadrons of F-18E/F super Hornet fighter jets, including one specializing in electronic attack.

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