Eisenhower USS Roosevelt
© US Navy PhotoComponents of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Group, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG-58) and USS Gravely (DDG-107), steam in formation with the Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550), the Carlo Bergamini-class frigate ITS Alpino (F 594), and the Horizon-class frigate FS Forbin (D 620) in the Red Sea, June 7, 2024.
Aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) has departed the Red Sea while USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), currently in the Pacific, will leave for the Middle East to continue a U.S. presence mission in the region, USNI News has learned.

"[The] Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group departed the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility today and will remain briefly in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility before returning home after more than seven months deployed in support of U.S. regional deterrence and force protection efforts, reads a Saturday statement from Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder.

Comment: Interestingly, it was the Eisenhower which Yemen recently claimed to have hit in response to US-UK airstrikes on the country which killed children.

"Next week, the TR CSG will depart the Indo-Pacific for the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. The United States will continue to maintain a robust presence in the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen peace, stability, and deterrence alongside allies and partners."

Ryder said TR would leave the Pacific following the completion of a planned exercise.

While Ike and its cruiser escort are now in the Mediterranean Sea, the destroyer escorts assigned to the strike group will stay in U.S. 5th Fleet, a U.S. official told USNI News on Friday.

The decision comes as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin elected not to extend the Navy's second-oldest carrier for a third time, the official confirmed. As of Friday, the carrier had been deployed for more than eight months. USNI News reported earlier this month Ike has deployed for more days than any other U.S.-based carrier for the last five years.

"Time to bring them home," the official said.

It's unclear how long Roosevelt, which deployed in January, will need to stay on station before it's relieved by the next carrier slated to operate in the region. The next carrier on the East Coast preparing to leave is USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), which is still early in its workups ahead of a deployment later this summer, USNI News understands.

The last time a Pacific carrier deployed to the Middle East was in 2021 when the U.S. evacuated troops from Afghanistan. Then Japan-based USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) moved to the North Arabian Sea to provide air cover for the departure of U.S. forces, USNI News reported at the time.

Roosevelt is the second busiest aircraft carrier in the past five years, USNI News previously reported.

Ike deployed on Oct. 13 and headed to the Red Sea, where it has been part of the U.S. response to the Houthi attacks on commercial ships and posture in light of the war between Israel and Hamas. Ike's departure comes as tensions between Lebanon-based group Hezbollah and Israel have escalated over the past couple of days. The official told USNI News Ike's move was not related to the recent escalation between Israel and Hezbollah.

Austin ordered the second extension for the ship in late May. Carriers sent to the Med or the Red Sea have seen multiple extensions since February 2021 when Russia invaded Ukraine to maintain a U.S. presence in the region.

USS Harry S. Truman, which went to the Med as part of the U.S. response, deployed for 285 days. It was replaced by USS George H.W. Bush, which deployed for 257 days.

USS Gerald R. Ford was the next carrier to enter the Med, which then moved over to the Eastern Mediterranean following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and Israel's subsequent bombardment of Gaza. It spent 257 days on deployment, some of which crossed over with Ike.

Ike is the Navy's busiest aircraft carrier in the past five years, with the ship deploying in 2020 for 171 days, as well.

While in the Red Sea, Ike and the other ships that made up the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group were part of Operation Prosperity Guardian. They were involved in several Central Command activities that saw them shoot down Houthi drones and weapons. Most recently, aircraft from Ike and cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) helped evacuate crews from commercial ships struck by Houthi weaponry.

USS Mason (DDG-87), one of the destroyers assigned to the Ike Carrier Strike Group transited the Strait of Gibraltar on June 14 and pulled into port at Rota, Spain, and has since left.