Photo of the Day: Dec. 6, 2012

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 lands aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is transiting to her homeport of Norfolk after operating in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy/Lt. Adam R. Cole)

The USS Eisenhower is coming home for repairs to its deck, spending only a brief moment in the U.S. before heading back to the Middle East.  The impact: the Stennis will now be the only carrier in the region…

From Navy Times:

The aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower will put its deployment on pause and will be back in port at Norfolk, Va., in time for Christmas.

But its time home will be brief.

After its flight deck is resurfaced it will re-deploy back to the Middle East, putting it on station for a total of 10 months.

Ike’s departure from the 5th Fleet is leaving the John C. Stennis as the only carrier in the region until the spring, one carrier fewer than the Navy planned.

Bringing Ike back temporarily is an unusual move, but it gives the Navy time to finish unexpected repairs on the carrier Nimitz.

That ship was supposed to relieve the Eisenhower in 5th Fleet early next year. Two sources said that cooling pumps on the Nimitz’s propulsion system needed repairs that could require two months to finish.

The Navy decisions will have a ripple effect across carrier strike group deployment schedules.

The impact on operations in the region is unclear, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on how this all shakes out.

Zachary Fryer-Biggs
Follow Me

Zachary Fryer-Biggs

Senior Staff Writer at Defense News
Zach is the State Department correspondent, cyberwarfare, research & development and business reporter for Defense News.
Zachary Fryer-Biggs
Follow Me