Following the attack on October 7 against Israel, the United States announced the deployment of significant maritime, naval and air assets in the Middle East.
The largest aircraft carrier in the world
While his squadron was to carry out a port call in the South of France, the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78, Gerald R. Ford class) was urgently redeployed by the American Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (Press release). Currently, it is the largest (a little over 100,000 tons) and largest (337 meters) aircraft carrier currently in service on the seas and oceans of the world. Its embarked carrier group currently has no less than 9 squadrons:
- 4 squadrons of F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets
- 1 squadron of EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft
- 1 squadron of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye forward air surveillance and command aircraft
- 1 squadron of C-2A Greyhound transport aircraft
- 1 squadron of MH-60R maritime strike helicopters (HSM)
- 1 squadron of MH-60S maritime combat helicopters (HSC)
This aircraft carrier is also the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12), including other ships responsible for its security:
- the guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60, Ticonderoga class)
- the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG-61, Arleigh-Burke I class)
- the guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116, Arleigh-Burke IIA class)
The guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG-74, Arleigh-Burke II class) is normally part of CSG 12 but is not mentioned in the various press releases.
This squadron is also reinforced by the addition of two additional destroyers:
- the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG-64, Arleigh-Burke I class)
- the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80, Arleigh-Burke IIA class)
As a reminder, in addition to the anti-submarine capabilities, the various guns and CIWS systems, these ships also represent the arrival on the Israeli coast of more than 480 anti-ship, anti-aircraft, anti-missile or even sea-ground missiles, distributed between the cruiser (+120 missiles) and the four destroyers (+90 missiles).