US aircraft carrier, bombers and fighters flex their muscles near Iran with simulated strikes

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. WilburThe USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress, assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron and part of the Bomber Task Force deployed to the region, conducting joint exercises in the US Central Command area of responsibility.
  • The US Navy carrier strike group and US Air Force bombers deployed to the Middle East to counter Iran conducted simulated strike exercises near Iran over the weekend.
  • The US began deploying troops and military assets to US Central Command last month in response to what it described as intelligence indicating that Iran was plotting attacks on US interests in the region.
  • The exercises conducted Saturday involved F/A-18E Super Hornets, an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, and B-52H Stratofortress heavy, long-range bombers.
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The US Navy carrier strike group and US Air Force bombers deployed to the Middle East to counter Iran conducted simulated strike exercises near Iran over the weekend as tensions between Washington and Tehran remain high.

The US began deploying numerous troops and military assets to the US Central Command area of responsibility last month in response to what it described as 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, though Vice Adm. Michael Gilday recently told reporters at the Pentagon that the Iranian leadership had repeatedly made threats backed up by changes in their force posture.

Furthermore, a string of attacks in recent weeks – including attacks on tankers in United Arab Emirates waters, a drone strike on a Saudi pipeline, and a rocket attack in the Green Zone in Iraq – has reinforced the US military’s view that Iran is involved in or plotting nefarious activities.


The exercises conducted Saturday involved F/A-18E Super Hornets and an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye from Carrier Air Wing 7 attached to the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, as well as a B-52H Stratofortress heavy, long-range bomber.

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. WilburA bomber with fighter escorts flying above the USS Abraham Lincoln.

The exercises included air-to-air training, formation flying, close-air-support exercises, strike-coordination and reconnaissance training, and simulated strike operations.

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. WilburA B-52H Stratofortress bomber being escorted by F/A-18E Super Hornets.

“Our land, air, and maritime assets are even stronger and more effective when integrated together,” Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, the Combined Forces Air Component commander, said in a statement, adding, “We are postured to face any threats toward US forces in this region.”

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber SmalleyBombers and fighters supported by an early-warning aircraft flying above the Lincoln.

“The training the air wing conducted with the B-52s 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,” said Capt. William Reed, the Carrier Air Wing 7 commander.

US Navy photo by Lt. Brad KerrFighters and bombers flying over the Arabian Sea during combined arms exercises.

The US military has deployed a US carrier strike group consisting of a carrier, several destroyers and a cruiser, a bomber task force, an amphibious assault vessel, a Patriot air-and-missile-defence battery, fighter jets, and hundreds of additional troops to the Middle East to deter Iran.

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matt HerbstA F/A-18E Super Hornet on the deck of the Lincoln.

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