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USS Enterprise Arrives In Gulf

The US navy said in July that the Enterprise "provides navy power to counter the assertive, disruptive and coercive behavior of some countries, as well as support (to) our soldiers and marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
by Staff Writers
Manama (AFP) Aug 01, 2007
The USS Enterprise aircraft carrier arrived in Gulf waters on Wednesday to conduct security operations and provide air support to ground troops operating in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US Navy said. The nuclear-powered Enterprise and its strike group have replaced the USS Nimitz and USS Stennis, which both left the region in July, a spokesperson told AFP. In January the United States said it planned to keep two carrier battle groups in the Gulf for months -- the first such deployment since 2003.

But the spokesperson said there were no "immediate plans" to send another aircraft carrier to serve alongside the Enterprise as part of the navy's Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain.

The arrival of the Enterprise "demonstrates the Unites States' resolve to enhance security and support long-term stability in the region," the statement said.

Tension is mounting in the Gulf due to the suspicion among some Western powers and their regional allies that Iran is secretly developing a nuclear weapon, an accusation Tehran strongly denies.

The navy said in July that the Enterprise "provides navy power to counter the assertive, disruptive and coercive behavior of some countries, as well as support (to) our soldiers and marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Regular deployments of the strike groups to the Middle East are not designed to provoke any of the Gulf countries," it added.

The small Gulf archipelago of Bahrain has been designated by the United States as a major non-NATO ally, and also has a free trade agreement with Washington.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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