US aircraft carrier arrives in Israel for the first time in 17 years; US Navy: Visit symbolizes steadfast cooperation, shared values.
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) arrived in Haifa on Saturday night for a scheduled port visit intended to enhance US-Israel relations.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is 333 meters long, travels at 30+ knots, and is capable of supporting over 5,000 personnel – including the ship’s company, embarked staff, and the carrier air wing.
Currently, there are 90 aircraft on the vessel, including many war planes.
Its arrival, according to the US Navy, ”symbolizes the steadfast cooperation between the Israel Defense Force and the US Armed Forces, a relationship based on shared values and common interests.”
This is the first time a US aircraft carrier visited an Israeli port since the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) visited in April 2000. Working out of the Mediterranean Sea, it conducts precision strikes on ISIS targets from multiple theaters.
Israeli and US Naval commanders will conduct joint visits both in Israel’s ports and on the US vessel.
US Naval Forces Europe-Africa Commander Adm. Michelle Howard said, ”The United States has had long standing military to military engagements with Israel.”
”The George Herbert Walker Bush is a strategic asset. Her mobility coupled with her capabilities means she can project power anywhere around the globe. In this visit to Israel, GHWB’s might is a metaphor for the strength of the bonds between our counties.
”I’d like to thank the Israeli people for hosting us and for taking care of our Sailors.”