The aircraft carrier strike group USS Truman (USA) has been deployed to the Mediterranean with the mission of “deterring Russia” and is ready to receive any orders from US President Joe Biden.
“Today there are many Russian ships and submarines in the Mediterranean. That’s why the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also needs to be present in this area, to deter them,” said US Navy official Carlos Del Toro.
“The role of USS Truman and other allies is to deter Russia, and is ready to await orders from our President or from other world leaders to protect Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” Del. Toro added.
As a “mobile US airbase”, the USS Truman will play a front-line role should NATO decide to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, or – in the worst case scenario – NATO is embroiled in a conflict.
An increasing number of US lawmakers are calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, despite the risk of provoking a direct military confrontation with Russia.
The aircraft carrier USS Truman (Nimitz-class) and its escorts are currently stationed in the Ionian Sea (southeastern Italy and western Greece). Over the past month, planes from the Truman group are believed to have flown more than 75 patrol missions along NATO’s eastern flank, including near the Ukraine border.
USS Truman also participated in major US campaigns many times. The group’s aircraft flew more than 1,200 missions during the war in Iraq in 2003, and supported the coalition against the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 2010s.
This is not the first time the US has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group to the Mediterranean to show off its power against Moscow. In early 2014, when tensions flared in Ukraine, Washington deployed another Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the George HW Bush, to an area off southern Turkey.
The United States currently has 11 active carrier groups, and has deployed these groups to many parts of the world. American forces in the Mediterranean operate under the command of the 6th Fleet (headquarters in Naples, Italy), which has up to 40 ships and 175 aircraft.
The US and its allies have deployed a no-fly zone in a number of countries such as Iraq, Bosnia, and Libya.