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A-10 deployed to CENTCOM after Hamas Attacks on Israel
On Oct. 12, 2023 A-10 Thunderbolt II CAS aircraft from the 354th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., have arrived in the Middle East, as the US has rushed airpower to the region following the surprise Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
According to Air & Space Forces Magazine, their exact location was not immediately clear.
According to US officials, the A-10s will add to the Warthogs from the 75th Fighter Squadron, which are already in the region.
Hamas Attacks on Israel
The decision to send US military assets to the region was taken not only to show support for Israel, which has had more than 1,200 citizens killed and others taken hostage and brought to Gaza, but also to discourage Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, and Iran from trying to escalate the conflict.
The message to any state or non-state actors that were thinking of escalating the violence is a simple one: “Don’t,” a senior defense official told reporters on Oct. 12.
According to the Pentagon, the new deployment comes as Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III heads to Israel on Oct. 13.
As already reported US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had earlier announced plans to send A-10s, F-16 Fighting Falcons, and F-15E Strike Eagles to strengthen the U.S. Air Force presence in the region.
The military did not say whether those F-15s and F-16s have yet arrived. US officials have said F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters are also among the capabilities that may be sent.
USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
Additionally, the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on Oct. 10.
Austin ordered the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to move to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea as a result of Saturday’s attacks in Israel.
According to a US CENTCOM news release, the US Navy forces in the area include the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) (with its four F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter squadrons, as well as four squadrons of electronic warfare and command and control aircraft) and the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), as well as the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).
“The arrival of these highly capable forces to the region is a strong signal of deterrence should any actor hostile to Israel consider trying to take advantage of this situation,” said General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander, US Central Command.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group set to deploy on Oct. 13
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is set to deploy on Oct. 13, but a defense official told USNI News that the carrier is likely headed to US European Command, rather than US Central Command.
The Ford Carrier Strike Group deployed in May, replacing the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, which deployed to the Mediterranean last August and returned home in April. The deployment included an extension. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group was in the Mediterranean before the Bush CSG for nine months in a deployment that also included extensions.
It’s not clear if Austin will order an extension for the Ford Carrier Strike Group. A defense official told USNI News no determination had been made.
The United Kingdom is also sending naval assets to the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Israel, according to the BBC.
The UK is sending two Royal Navy ships and surveillance aircraft, with patrols expected to begin Friday.
Photo credit: U.S. Navy and Airman 1st Class Zachary Rufus / U.S. Air Force