Monday, July 16, 2012
The Pentagon denies tensions with Iran triggered the accelerated deployment.
Instead, as the Armed Forces Press Service reports, Panetta's decision has to do with the USS Enterprise leaving the Persian Gulf early, and keeping the existing Navy presence in that part of the world strong.
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters:
"[T[his is a very important region for our defense strategy. We've had a presence in the region for decades and we have a range of interests that this extension of our capabilities will support."
The Stennis Carrier Strike Group will deploy toward the end of summer.