In order to increase their maritime presence, the US Navy has sent the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt into Yemeni waters. USS Theodore and its escort cruiser, USS Normandy, were re-positioned from the Persian Gulf into the Arabian Sea. The nuclear aircraft carrier and guided-missile cruiser will join seven other US warships in the Yemeni waters.
There has been increasing conflict within the region. The order to re-position the ships came after reports that Iran had sent ships towards Yemen carrying unknown cargo. The White House believes there is evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other forms of support to the Houthis in Yemen. On April 14th, 2015, an arms embargo was placed by the UN Security Council against leaders of the Iranian-back Shiite Houthi rebels. However, the Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren has denied accusations that the ships were re-positioned to intercept Iranian arms shipments. In his statement, he said the reason for the re-position is to “ensure the vital shipping lanes in the region remain open and safe.” If it is discovered that Iranians are delivering arms and violating the United Nations resolution, it could trigger a confrontation with the Navy. There is already a history of the Navy intercepting Iranian arms shipments. The Navy intercepted Iranian arms shipments that were going to the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
USS Theodore is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Nimitz-class carriers are the largest warships ever built. The flight deck is 332.9 meters in length and sports a 40.8-meter tall beam. The carrier displaces 102,000 tons and supports 6,000 personnel. Newport News Shipbuilding, which is now spun off as Huntington Ingalls Industries, built all nine nuclear-powered Nimitz-class carriers. USS Theodore was commissioned in October of 1986. Its maximum speed is just over 30 knots. Propulsion comes from two General Electric pressurized water reactors that drive four turbines at 260,000 horsepower and four shafts.
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