US to cut carrier fleet in Persian Gulf to 1
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is cutting its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf region from two carriers to one, the Defense Department said Wednesday, in a move that represents one of the most significant effects of budget cuts on the U.S. military presence overseas.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has approved keeping just one carrier in the Persian Gulf region. The U.S. has maintained two aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf for most of the last two years.
Plans for the USS Harry S Truman to deploy to the Gulf later this week have been canceled. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, brought home from the Gulf in December for the resurfacing of its flight deck and other maintenance, will return later this month and stay until about summer. The USS John C. Stennis will leave the Gulf and return home after the Eisenhower arrives.
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