USS Nimitz carrier moves into Red Sea

AT SEA, INDIA: The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz cruises towards the port of Chennai, 01 July 2007. The USS Nimitz, one of the word's largest battleships, was docked 02 July two nautical miles (3.7 kilometres) from the city of Chennai in southern Tamil Nadu state, where it will remain till 05 July, a port official said.  AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz is one of the word’s largest battleships. Credit: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and four other ships in its strike group moved into the Red Sea early on Monday, U.S. defense officials said, describing the move as “prudent planning” in case the ships are needed for military action against Syria.

The officials said the Nimitz entered the Red Sea around 6 a.m. EDT, but the strike group had not received any orders to move into the Mediterranean, where five U.S. destroyers and an amphibious ship remain poised for possible cruise missile strikes against Syria.

Moving the Nimitz into the Red Sea was aimed at putting more U.S. assets in place if they are needed to support what U.S. officials still describe as a limited attack against Syria after it used chemical weapons against civilians.

“It does place that strike group in a position to respond to a variety of contingencies,” said one official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The nuclear-powered Nimitz is accompanied by the Princeton, a cruiser, and three destroyers: the William P. Lawrence, Stockdale and Shoup, according to officials.

They said there had been no change regarding six U.S. Navy ships now in the eastern Mediterranean, but military planners were reassessing the situation given a delay in the cruise missile strikes that had been expected this past weekend.

President Barack Obama on Saturday backed off imminent strikes by five destroyers off the coast of Syria until Congress had time to vote its approval. Defense officials said the delay gave them more time to reassess which ships and other weapons will be kept in the region — and whether some may be allowed to leave. Congress reconvenes in Washington on Sept. 9.

The U.S. Navy doubled its presence in the eastern Mediterranean in the past week, effectively adding two destroyers to the three that generally patrol the region.

The destroyers are carrying a combined load of about 200 Tomahawk missiles, but officials say a limited strike on Syria could be accomplished with half that number.

Reuters reported Sunday that officials had rerouted the Nimitz carrier group, which was due to sail east around Asia to return to its home port in Everett, Wash., after being relieved in recent days by another aircraft carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman.

Officials said the USS Kearsarge, a large-deck amphibious ship, remained in the North Arabian Sea, and there were no plans to move the ship into the Red Sea.

The Kearsarge, which carries 6 AV-8B Harriers, 10-12 V-22 Ospreys and helicopters, played a key role in the 2011 strikes on Libya. Two Ospreys launched from the ship helped rescue a downed F-15 pilot during that operation.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe comes out as gay

In a sit-down with well-known British interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson set to air Sunday, Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, 31, revealed he is gay after years…

International

iPhone is a security risk, says Chinese state…

Chinese state media branded Apple Inc's iPhone a threat to national security because of the smartphone's ability to track and time-stamp user locations. A report…

National

Tracy Morgan sues Wal-mart over deadly crash

Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has sued Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in a New Jersey federal court, alleging the retailer was negligent in connection with the…

National

Tommy Ramone, last original member of punk pioneers…

Tommy Ramone, the drummer and last surviving original member of punk band the Ramones, whose aggressive and fast-driving songs spearheaded the punk-rock movement, has died…

Gossip

Mariah Carey unretouched photos show the power of…

Jezebel has the "before" pictures from Mariah Carey's Wonderland magazine photo shoot with Terry Richardson — who's no stranger to photo scandals. As Jezebel astutely…

Gossip

Facebook users upset Steven Spielberg killed a dinosaur

Some Facebook users were up in arms over a photo from the set of the 1993 film "Jurassic Park" showing director Steven Spielberg smiling in…

Music

Tommy Ramone, last original member of punk pioneers…

Tommy Ramone, the drummer and last surviving original member of punk band the Ramones, whose aggressive and fast-driving songs spearheaded the punk-rock movement, has died…

Gossip

PHOTOS: Topless Cara Delevingne advocates for 'Free the…

Supermodel Cara Delevingne is never one to shy away from the gaze of social media. Yesterday, she chose to advocate for the 'Free the Nipple' campaign via Instagram, where she…

NBA

GIF: LeBron James returns to Cleveland so deal…

To anyone out there who is upset about his decision, this .GIF is for you. Enjoy.

World Cup

A game of two popes: Vatican plays down…

By Philip PullellaVATICAN CITY (Reuters) - With Argentina meeting Germany in the World Cup final, the Vatican on Friday brushed aside talk of soccer rivalry…

NFL

Which Jets player has the best odds at…

Metro New York asked Bovada.LV to rank the top three contenders for the NFL MVP on the Jets.

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

Wellbeing

Fart gas might prevent cancer

You might not like the smell, but fart gas might help prevent cancer.

Tech

Mesh sheds light on top 10 dating deal…

What are New Yorkers' top 10 dating deal breakers? Find out here.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Sexual headaches can be…

Sexual headaches: an under-discussed health issue Location: U.S. Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a…

Food

Head to FiDi for free Chia Pods from…

They may have been last summer's darlings, but chia seeds have definitely not gone out of style. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, they…