According to Business Insider, The US Navy carrier strike group and US Air Force bombers deployed to the Middle East to counter Iran conducted simulated strike drills near Iran as tensions between Washington and Tehran remain high.
The exercises involved F/A-18E Super Hornets, E-2D Growlers and other air assets from Carrier Air Wing 7 attached to the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and B-52H Stratofortress heavy, long-range bombers.
The drills included air-to-air training, formation flying, close air support exercises, strike coordination and reconnaissance training, and simulated strike operations.
Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress, assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron and part of the Bomber Task Force deployed to the region, conduct joint exercises in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
The demonstration of flexible and adaptable joint operations shows U.S. military forces are prepared to respond to contingencies and defend the interest in the region.
Iran threatens to attack Israel if U.S. launches strikes against Tehran using bombers & aircraft carrier
With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deploying strike group assets include staffs, ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12), Destroyer Squadron 2 (DESRON 2), USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW 7).
“The training the air wing conducted with the B-52’s today is an incredible demonstration of how our military can rapidly join capabilities to enhance our lethality and our ability to respond to any threat when called upon,” Capt. William Reed, Carrier Air Wing 7 commander, explained.
“Our land, air, and maritime assets are even stronger and more effective when integrated together,” Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, said in a statement. “We are postured to face any threats toward US forces in this region.”
The US began deploying numerous troops and military assets to the US Central Command area of responsibility last month in response to intelligence indicating that Iran was plotting attacks on US interests in the region.
The exact nature of the threat posed by Iran and its proxies is unclear, although Vice Adm. Michael Gilday recently told reporters at the Pentagon that the Iranian leadership has repeatedly made threats backed up by changes in their force posture.
Furthermore, there have been a string of attacks in recent weeks — including attacks on tankers in UAE waters, a drone strike on a Saudi pipeline, and a rocket attack in the Green Zone in Iraq — that have reinforced the US military’s view that Iran is involved in or plotting nefarious activities.
The U.S. pulled out of Iran’s nuclear deal a year ago. Since then, relations have grown tense as America imposes ever-tougher sanctions on Tehran.