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Wednesday, 1 August 2007

US cuts Gulf aircraft presence

The United States have reduced their aircraft carrier presence in the Gulf region to a single carrier, Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command/US 5th Fleet said on Wednesday.

"This morning the USS Enterprise and four surface combatants have transited through the Suez Canal, entering the 5th Fleet area," Cosgriff told Deutsche Presse-Agentur after a change-of-command ceremony for the Combined Task Force 150 in Manama.

"The USS Enterprise is the only aircraft carrier under my command in the 5th Fleet area, the two other aircraft carriers have left the 5th Fleet area recently," he said.

Cosgriff described the current US and coalition naval presence in the region as "average," attributing the fluctuation in force numbers to the normal rotation of forces. News24