The oldest aircraft carrier in the fleet will spend at least a few more days deployed this year.
Two months into her latest deployment and less than two weeks after entering the Persian Gulf, word has come that the Nimitz will be extended to continue the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
“Due to our enduring commitment to supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in the Arabian Gulf, we’ve been called upon to extend here for approximately nine days,” said public affairs officer Lt. Cmdr. Theresa Donnelly in an Aug. 9 email. “These dates are estimates and could change, but this is where we stand today.”
Nimitz left her homeport of Bremerton, Washington, on June 1. After a brief stop in San Diego, she deployed to the Western Pacific and then the Persian Gulf, where she began carrying out strike sorties on July 31.
The news of her extension comes just a day after an F/A-18E Super Hornet nearly collided with an unarmed Iranian drone that was loitering in the air space near the ship.
The pilot had to take evasive measures when the drone came within 100 feet of the Super Hornet over the central Persian Gulf.
“While in this region, the ship and strike group are conducting maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners, preserve freedom of navigation, and maintain the free flow of commerce,” Donnelly’s statement said.