B-52s, Patriots, F-35s and more: America’s MidEast deployment rundown

A short 101 on the US deployment making its way to the Middle East.

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May 12, 2019 09:53
2 minute read.
B-52s, Patriots, F-35s and more: America’s MidEast deployment rundown

US Army officers walks on a Patriot anti-missile battery site during a joint Israeli-US air-defence exercise dubbed 'Juniper Cobra', in Tel Aviv October 27, 2009. REUTERS/Ziv Koren/Pool . (photo credit: REUTERS/ZIV KOREN)

 
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In recent days, the US has announced the deployment of an array of military power to the Middle East as tensions grow with Iran. On Friday, the US Department of Defense approved the addition of the USS Arlington and a Patriot battery to US Central Command to fill a request last week. The additional forces come as tensions with Iran are rising and the US has warned Iran that any attack by Iranian forces or their proxies will be met with retaliation.

The following is a list of the known forces that the US has deployed.

The USS Arlington

A 24,000 ton, 207-meter-long ship commissioned in 2013 is a San-Antonio class amphibious transport vessel. It is designed to transport US marines, vehicles and aircraft to be used to support amphibious assaults. It can carry up to 800 troops with a dozen vehicles. Although with the 6th Fleet, which operates in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, it was ordered to join the deployment, according to the United States Naval Institute News.

The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

Elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) were also dispatched. They transited the Strait of Hormuz with the amphibious ship Kearsarge.

The Kearsarge ARG

The amphibious ready group (ARG) led by the Kearsarge entered the 6th Fleet’s area of operations in December with the MEU and over the last months has been deployed to the Persian Gulf, steaming around various countries. It has up to 4,500 sailors and marines aboard its various units. These include, according to Naval Today, the USS Arlington which is mentioned above, the dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry, a helicopter squadron, a tactical air squadron and a naval beach group.

USS McFaul and USNS Alan Shepard

The destroyer USS McFaul and the ammunition ship USNS Alan Shepard were photographed in the Strait of Hormuz on May 7. They had been in the Red Sea in April.


B-52 bombers

Two B-52s landed Thursday in Qatar, part of four B-52s sent to the region. They flew from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and were supported by two KC-10s from McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, according to reports. They form part of a bomber task force of Barksdale’s 20th Bomb Squadron.

The USS Abraham Lincoln

The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike force passed through the Suez Canal last week en route to the Persian Gulf. It included the USS Leyte Gulf and destroyers.

Patriot missiles

US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan also sent a Patriot missile battery to bolster Central Command.

F-35s

In mid-April, the US sent several F-35s to the United Arab Emirates. These included maintenance and support units from the 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve 419th Fighter Wing.

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