WTH!!! This is unacceptable!
The U.S. will reportedly face a carrier gap in the Middle East as President-elect Trump prepares to take office.
The carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, which has been conducting operations against the Islamic State in the Middle East for the past seven months, is set to return to its home port in Norfolk, Va., on Friday, according to a Navy statement.
But the carrier George H.W. Bush, which is set to relieve the Eisenhower, has not left the U.S. due to delays in the maintenance yard, Defense News reported. That’s setting the Navy up to not have an aircraft carrier in the Middle East for up to two months.Fleet Forces Command did not return a request for comment on when the Bush might deploy.
The gap leaves the region without a U.S. naval presence at a tumultuous time. The fight against the Islamic State, including the offensive to retake Mosul, is ongoing and the Russians and Turks will begin enforcing the latest cease-fire in Syria.
The Pentagon often prepares for a gap by sending additional U.S. Air Force units to the area to continue carrying out the air campaign, a precaution that has been taken in this case as well, according to the report.
A carrier gap in the region is not unheard of. The last gap lasted several weeks in 2015 when the carrier Theodore Roosevelt left the Middle East in mid-October and the carrier Harry S. Truman deployed in mid-November in the days following the Paris terrorist attacks.