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The USS Eisenhower is returning to Norfolk after one of Navy’s busiest deployments in decades

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Render Assistance to Distressed Mariners.
Department of Defense
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Render Assistance to Distressed Mariners.

The carrier left the Red Sea over the weekend and will head back to Norfolk after a stop in Mediterranean.

The Pentagon announced over the weekend that the USS Eisenhower and its strike group left the Red Sea Saturday. The carrier is in the Mediterranean and will soon make its way back home after eight months at sea.

“After an eventful seven months in the Middle East region, the Ike strike group is back in the U.S. 6th Fleet, ready as always to demonstrate our flexibility and capabilities where needed,” said Rear Adm. Kavon Hakimzadeh, commander, Carrier Strike Group 2. “We are prepared to operate anywhere, whenever we are tasked.”

USS Eisenhower left Norfolk Oct. 14, just days after war broke out in Gaza. It spent much of its time in the Red Sea protecting international shipping. Its planes bombed sites in Yemen controlled by Houthi Rebels.

“The Ike (carrier strike group) also upheld their commitment to safety of all seafarers, rescuing mariners in distress on several occasions following unprovoked attacks on innocent mariners by Iranian-backed Houthis,” according to a statement put out by US Central Command on X, formerly Twitter.

Pictures put out by the Navy show the carrier aiding mariners on June 15.

The ship’s aircraft downed drones and missiles, at times on a daily basis, making it one of the busiest deployments of the post-World War II era.

The ship also participated in a multinational effort to shoot down multiple drones and missiles fired by Iran at Israel in April.

In the last two months, the carrier has been part of a social media campaign by the Houthis falsely indicating that the carrier had been hit or sunk. The Navy continues to refute allegations that Eisenhower was ever struck.

The Ike is being replaced in the Red Sea by the San Diego-based USS Roosevelt, at least until the Norfolk-based USS Truman is ready to deploy later this summer.

Steve joined WHRO in 2023 to cover military and veterans. Steve has extensive experience covering the military and working in public media, most recently at KPBS in San Diego, WYIN in Gary, Indiana and WBEZ in Chicago. In the early 2000s, he embedded with members of the Indiana National Guard in Kuwait and Iraq. Steve reports for NPR’s American Homefront Project, a national public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Steve is also on the board of Military Reporters & Editors.

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