Today, Secretary Austin placed approximately 2,000 personnel and a range of units on a heightened state of readiness through a prepare to deploy order, which increases DoD’s ability to respond quickly to the evolving security environment in the Middle East. No decisions have been made to deploy any forces at this time. The Secretary will continue to assess our force posture and remain in close contact with allies and partners.
Additionally, he approved a deployment extension for the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Sixth Fleet Area of Operations. The strike group was nearing the end of its six-month deployment to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.