US Ohio-class sub arrives in the Middle East
This image of a U.S. Ohio-class submarine apparently traversing the Suez Canal
was released by U.S. Central Command on Nov. 5, 2023. Photo: USCENTCOM

Ohio-class submarines are the largest in the U.S. fleet, and can be equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles or ballistic missiles.

By Pesach Benson and JNS Staff
November 6, 2023

United States Central Command announced on Sunday the presence of an Ohio-class submarine in its area of responsibility, as the United States continues to bolster its military posture in the region amid Israel’s war with the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.

CENTCOM’s area of naval responsibility includes the Persian Gulf, and Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean.

The announcement, made on X (formerly Twitter), was accompanied by a photograph of a submarine apparently traversing Egypt’s Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

Ohio-class submarines are the largest in the U.S. fleet, and can be equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles or ballistic missiles. It is highly unusual for even their approximate locations to be disclosed.

United States has already deployed to the region the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea, guided-missile destroyers USS Gravely and USS Mason and Carrier Air Wing 3, with nine aircraft squadrons and embarked headquarters staffs.

The Pentagon has also deployed to the region the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, which includes the USS Normandy, USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney and USS Roosevelt. The U.S. Air Force also announced deployment of squadrons of F-15, F-16 and A-10 fighter aircraft.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the deployments after his visit to Israel earlier this month, where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

In a statement, Austin said that this is being done “as part of our effort to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts towards widening this war following Hamas’s attack on Israel.”

On Monday, The New York Times reported that Washington had warned Iran and its Lebanon-based terror proxy Hezbollah that it is prepared to act militarily against them if they escalate the conflict with Israel.

The message was reportedly conveyed through U.S. allies in the Middle East. 

Since the beginning of the Gaza war, Iranian proxies have launched a number of rocket and drone attacks on U.S. forces in Syria.

The attacks drew American retaliatory strikes on weapons depots in Syria belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

On Oct. 20, the USS Carney, stationed in the Red Sea, shot down a ballistic missile and several drones launched by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen heading towards Israel.

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