Oct 22, 2023 - World

Pentagon ramps up Middle East surge

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower deploys from Norfolk, Va., last week to head for the Middle East.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower deploys from Norfolk, Va., last week to head for the Middle East. Photo: U.S. Navy via Reuters

Thousands of U.S. military personnel have been shifted around the globe or told to prepare for deployment.

Why it matters: The Pentagon has scrambled to dispatch significant military might to the Middle East since the terrorist attack on Israel two weeks ago.

  • Pentagon officials say the U.S. is "surging support to Israel," which includes providing the country with air defense and munitions.

Zoom in: An armada of American ships and dozens of aircraft are quickly amassing around Israel, including...

  • Two aircraft carrier groups — the USS Gerald Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower — with roughly 7,500 personnel each.
  • Two amphibious Navy ships, which are equipped with thousands of Marines.
  • F-35, F-15, F-16 and A-10 fighter jets to supplement aircraft already in the area.

Another ship, the USS Carney, intercepted three missiles over the Red Sea that were "potentially" aimed at targets in Israel, a Pentagon spokesperson said Thursday.

  • U.S. special operations forces to assist Israel with planning and intelligence support.
  • 2,000 troops were ordered to prepare to deploy to the Middle East. They're unlikely to serve in combat roles.

Between the lines: The White House has previously discussed the possibility of using military force if Lebanon-based Hezbollah opens a new front in the war, Axios' Barak Ravid first reported.

  • Israel and Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, have traded fire almost daily since the Hamas attack on Oct. 7.

Go deeper: Behind Israel's high-risk push to eliminate Hamas

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