WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. officials say that budget strains will force the Pentagon to cut its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf area from two carriers to one.
Officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has formally approved a plan to keep just one carrier in the region. There have been two aircraft carrier groups there for most of the last two years.
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the Gulf but was brought home in December for maintenance. It will return later this month, but plans for the USS Harry S. Truman to deploy to the Gulf this week have been canceled.
Panetta To Recommend Troops Have Their Pay Cut
Panetta will recommend to Congress that military salaries be limited to a 1% increase in 2014, instead of the previously recommended 1.7%.
this needs to be just the tip of the iceberg in spending cuts. If "limiting a pay increase" and only deploying one aircraft carrier to steam around the Gulf instead of two is gonna cause such teeth gnashing, I can only imagine what real spending reform would look like
Having one carrier supporting OEF while another is in a position to sufficiently "pressurize" the gulf when desired.
And yes, the gulf is a pretty terrible operating environment for conventional Naval forces facing a small, fast, maneuverable asymetric threat.