Norfolk-based Bataan heads toward Middle East, according to USNI

Military

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Norfolk-based USS Bataan is heading toward the Middle East as tensions escalate between the United States and Iran, according to USNI News. 

The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will not participate in a planned training exercise in Africa, Exercise African Sea Lion in Morocco.

According to USNI News, the crew and roughly 2,200 Marines on board are changing course. The news was reported on the same day Pentagon officials said 3,000 Fort Bragg North Carolina soldiers would also deploy to the Middle East. 

A spokesman for U.S. 6th Fleet told USNI News he would not discuss future operation due to operational security reasons. The Norfolk-based Bataan deployed in December. 

Meanwhile, the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group continues operations in the Arabian sea. The Truman relieved the USS Abraham Lincoln last month. Pictures posted Monday by the Navy show sailors carrying out pre-flight checks on an F/A-18F Super Hornet during flight operations on the Truman.

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.

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