The United States Navy's largest aircraft carrier is now returning home after a nearly three-month deployment to defend Israel in the Middle East.
The USS Gerald Ford has been stationed within striking distance of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea since October in effort to keep the country's war against Hamas from turning into a regional conflict. However, the U.S. Navy says the ship will start its journey home "in the coming days" and will be replaced by the USS Bataan — an amphibious assault ship named after a battle fought in the Philippines during World War II.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is one of the world's largest aircraft carriers and is the latest and most cutting-edge aircraft carrier in the United States. It was already in the Mediterranean — engaged in naval drills with Italy — before being ordered to provide support to the Israel Defense Forces following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas.
The ship, carrying about 5,000 sailors and warplanes, is now headed home. However, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower will remain in the Red Sea to address recent attacks on commercial vessels by Yemen's Houthi rebels.
In late October, a U.S. Navy warship situated in the northern Red Sea shot down three cruise missiles along with a batch of drones that were launched from Yemen and appeared to be aimed at Israel, the Pentagon said.
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