As the Biden Administration prepares to withdraw military troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, the USS Ronald Reagan will be redeployed to the Middle East, leaving the Asia-Pacific region without the presence of an aircraft carrier. The carrier will replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which must return to Norfolk, Virginia by July.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement regarding the reported redeployment of the USS Ronald Reagan:
“Force protection must always remain our highest priority, and I have complete confidence in the crew of the USS Ronald Reagan,” said Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. “However, the reported redeployment of the Reagan from Indo-Pacific Command to Central Command underscores that we are asking the military to do too much with too little. There are no other carriers available, and the Ford remains far behind schedule. The Secretary of Defense should not have to choose between providing force protection and keeping an aircraft carrier in the priority theater.”
“This redeployment also highlights the fundamentally flawed approach of unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan,” said Inhofe. “While no one wants to keep American troops in Afghanistan forever, leaving without a plan will certainly require continued deployment of warships and aircraft as the military attempts to conduct a similar counter-terror mission from afar. Every day, it becomes clearer that the American military requires much more funding to carry out U.S. strategy.”