If this isn’t a middle finger to President-elect Trump and the US in general, I don’t know what is. Barack Obama has officially withdrawn from the Middle East. The Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group has just departed the Gulf and it will be two months before another carrier will sail into those waters. I’m sure this was on purpose to leave everyone wide open to attack from the likes of Iran. It is the first time in memory the United States has not had a major carrier presence operating in the Arabian Gulf. It is also the worst possible timing and Obama knows it. Of course, Obama is busy setting everything on fire as he leaves, this is just one more blaze.
The Eisenhower left on the 26th and its official homecoming was the 30th. The George H. W. Bush will not arrive until after Jan. 20th and has not left Norfolk yet. The terrorist alerts worldwide are at an all time high. We face threats from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and ISIS. To not have a presence in the Gulf will leave not only the US open to attack, but Europe as well. All by design, I might add. Obama is just hoping and praying for a catastrophe as President-elect Trump comes into office.
From Defense News:
The newest gap is not a surprise, and actually has been months in the making — arguably well over a year. The Bush entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia in mid-June 2015 for what started out as a planned six-month repair period, extended just before it began to eight months. Facing a scheduled early-December 2016 departure date to relieve the Eisenhower group, the initial delay seemed manageable, giving the group nearly nine months to work through the predeployment training cycle.
But the overhaul dragged on well past the March completion date. Navy officials have been sparing at best and sometimes contradictory in explaining why the overhaul took so long — the explanations complicated by multiple oversight commands, including Naval Nuclear Reactors, Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Air Forces and US Fleet Forces Command. The reasons given ranged from poor planning to emergent work — often unspecified — to the lack of enough trained personnel at Norfolk Naval Shipyard due to previous layoffs and funding interruptions.
In the event, the Bush finally left the shipyard July 23 after more than 13 months in overhaul, facing a drastically compressed training period if the early December date could be met. But the command responsible for training the Bush and her strike group, US Fleet Forces Command, apparently did not have a plan in hand to deal with the short training cycle, although something called the Optimized Fleet Response Plan is supposed to deal with such eventualities. According to several sources, Fleet Forces didn’t hold a major meeting of all parties to determine a way ahead until late August.
US carrier groups regularly relieve each other in theater, often handing off duties within sight of the other in the Arabian Gulf or Arabian Sea. But this time, no carrier is in the Eisenhower’s wake. This time there is a myriad of hold ups ranging from what they claim are scheduling problems, to mechanical problems, to just no excuse at all. What this looks like is the brass being ordered to stall deployment.
Other Central Command carrier gaps have taken place in the past (I just can’t seem to remember when though), usually when a strike group is needed elsewhere or maintenance issues at home have forced ships to deploy late. The Pentagon plans for such events, often dispatching expeditionary US Air Force units to the region to pick up the slack. They claim to be doing that this time as well, but that seems to be something that lacks teeth and would not be able to head off any kind of conflict or hostile move by our enemies. READ MORE