The USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) joined the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet area of operations, which includes the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean, on Tuesday.
The strike group’s arrival comes at a critical time in the region as Saudi Arabia ramps up military operations in Yemen to fight the Houthi rebels backed by Iran. The rebels have toppled the Yemeni government and have forced the president to flea his country.
On March 25th, Saudi Arabia took action against Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East. Joined by the Egyptians, the major Sunni powers are now creating a coalition that is ready to face off with Iran in Yemen. The U.S., not notified ahead of the Saudi air strikes, will provide military aid in the form of intelligence and logistical support to operations.
"Maintaining a presence, both a naval and air presence, continues the sixty plus year commitment of our nation to support security and stability in the region, which is key to a prosperous global economy," Capt. Daniel C. Grieco, commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt said. "We can accomplish this by working with our regional partners and allies in order to protect freedom of navigation."
The Saudi Arabians and their Arab partners are expected to continue their proxy war with Iran in Yemen. The U.S. Navy’s move to position the USS Theodore Roosevelt with the Fifth Fleet can be viewed as a reaction to the increasingly tense situation in the region.
"TRCSG's presence in the region is part of a long-standing commitment to stability and the free flow of commerce in the region. The strike group will conduct a wide range of operations alongside regional and coalition partners aimed at building trust and cooperation while helping set conditions for regional stability," the U.S. Navy said in a press release regarding the TRCSG.