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August 27, 2012 10:19 am

U.S. Navy Sends Stennis Strike Group to Persian Gulf

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The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. Photo: wiki commons.

Nearly 6 months after returning home to the west coast, the U.S. Navy’s John C. Stennis aircraft carrier will leave Washington state today and return to the Persian Gulf as tensions between Iran and Israel continue to mount, and Syria falls deeper into the abyss.

The deployment, which comes 4 months ahead of schedule for the nuclear powered carrier and its crew “deals with a lot of threats in the Middle East right now”,  including Syria and Iran, said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week when he spoke to the nearly 2,000 sailors who will depart on Monday. “All of that is the reason we maintain the force we have in the Middle East.”

Back in January, The Stennis made headlines when Iran issued a threat, warning the ship not to return to the Persian Gulf following its departure through the Strait of Hormuz in late December.

“We usually don’t repeat our warning, and we warn only once,” said Iran’s Army chief Ataollah Salehi, according to the state-run Fars news agency. “We recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf.”

Days after issuing the threat, crew members from the John C. Stennis strike group saved 13 Iranian fishermen at sea after they had been kidnapped by Somali pirates.

When the USS John C. Stennis reaches the Persian Gulf, which is scheduled to be in one month’s time, they will join the USS Enterprise Strike Group, giving the United States military a significant presence in the region amid concerns of a conflict between Israel and Iran, which could provoke Iranian responses that would attempt to disrupt commercial shipping lanes in the area.

On the Syrian front, western leaders, including France’s defense minister late last week, have stepped up their calls for a closure of Syria’s airspace while the country slides deeper into civil war by the day.

“It’s tough,” Panetta said to the sailors who will depart today from the west coast. “We’re asking an awful lot of each of you. And frankly, you are the best I have — and when the world calls, we have to respond.”

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  • gina pucciarelli

    i am very thankful to learn that the USS STENNIS is on its way to defend if neccesary..what most people do not know is that Israel is a very small country, and could not afford a nuclear disaster(who could really). Israel is somewhat the shape of New Jersey,and probably smaller.

  • Luigi Rosolin

    USA Defense Secretary Leon Panetta,is one of the few who really had courage to take on the Iranian and other’s threat not only for Israel but for the world. The USA must keep on the flag of Justice and freedom including the religion one.
    The USA at the same time like every one else must not avoid to punish his soldier when they are acting in wrong way.

    • Anonymous

      You mean Leon Panetta had the courage to send others to take on the Iranian threat. It doesnt take much courage to make a decision from behind a desk.

  • VG

    For what it’s worth to you folks, most of us Americans support you. You’re the only sane people in that part of the world, and I’m sorry our government has not treated properly with you. Here’s to wishing Hussein Obama a speedy exit from office in January.

  • HaDaR

    Relying on foreign powers has cost the People of Israel already twice the loss of national sovereignty.
    NO ONE will defend Israel if it is not part of their interests, and we are too small and without oil.
    As Our Sages taught: “We have no one to rely upon except Our Father in Heaven”… and our own kids in uniform.
    People should remember that antisemite Nixon and super assimilated court Jew Kissinger did not send even a bullet to Israel in 1973 in spite of the Arab attack and a 24/7 military transport planes landing in Damascus filled with Soviet weapons, and that Mr. Kissinger said the famous phrase: “Let Israel bleed” since it served US interests towards Egypt…and closer to US, Clinton was ready to give away our land to the PLO and so was Bush through the Saudi sponsored “Road Map” to Israel’s destruction.
    Israel can’t afford risking the death of millions again, this time by the hands of fanatic suicidal muslims with atomic bombs, while the Western Powers sit and watch doing nothing, as they did in 1942-1945 all while having even the blue-prints of Auschwitz, direct witnessing of the ongoing extermination, etc. Yet, they even REFUSED to bomb the railways to Auschwitz and the camp itself in spite of the Buna Monowitz factories working 24/7 for the Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe…all while bombing SEVERAL TIMES a few miles away. That cost the lives of millions, to eternal British and US shame!

    Remember what the Hallel, which we sing at EVERY HOLIDAY, says:
    (תהלים קיח ×—): “טוב לחסות בה’ מבטוח באדם; טוב לחסות בה’ מבטוח בנדיבים”

    • gina pucciarelli

      As an american i am very sorry for my country’s actions tward Israel…i just want you to know that some of us(me included) are &will support Israel finance-wise as well as keeping your nation in prayer.

    • gina pucciarelli

      As an american i am very sorry for my country’s actions tward Israel…i just want you to know that some of us(me included) are &will support Israel finance-wise as well as keeping your nation in prayer.

  • Gavriel Yochanan

    Panetta “and when the world calls, we have to respond” what a load of BS! The world isn’t calling you Obama, this is part of your foriegn policy of intervention in sovereign countries with the sole purpose of securing support for the US. I hope it fails just as the US under OBama will.
    What the world needs is written in the Tanakh and confirmed by Yeshua in the Brit Chadashah, not war / power mongering people like you.

    The US is worse off under Obama but having said that its been a down hill slide since the early 60’s.


  • Ditto to Sabra C I przay it is not too late.

  • Sabra C

    I am so thankful that the USS John C.Stennis is on it’s way
    to the Persian Gulf. And that the USS Enterprise is already in the Persian Gulf. The United States must stand up and defend itself and the world against Iran and the rantings of madmen.

    All we need now is the aircraft!