US staging major war games in Gulf

AFP
Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The US navy said on Monday it is staging major war games in the Gulf involving two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and their strike groups, at a time of high tensions with Iran.

The manoeuvres involve the USS John C. Stennis and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, marking the first time the two strike groups have operated in a joint exercise under the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, it said.

They are being held as tensions are running high between the West and Iran over Tehran's nuclear drive and the capture last week of 15 British marines and sailors.

"Two air wings from the aircraft carriers will conduct air warfare exercises while the surface components will conduct exercises in three general disciplines: anti-submarine, anti-surface and mine warfare," the Fifth Fleet said.

The Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain, an island state which lies across the Gulf from Iran.

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