USS ENTERPRISE, Red Sea (NNS) -- Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) transited the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and entered the Gulf of Aden, Feb. 18 in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).
Enterprise, the world's largest aircraft carrier, transited the strait along with guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8).
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Strait of Bab el-Mandab is a key chokepoint between the horn of Africa and the Middle East, and a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. It is located between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea, and connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Three to four billion barrels of oil per day are shipped through the Strait, making it a vital waterway for the global economy.
"The Bab el-Mandeb Strait and Gulf of Aden are strategically important to the United States as an important sea lane for lawful shipping and transit," said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, Commander of Enterprise CSG. "Our presence in the region helps ensure this freedom of navigation and the defense of these interests."
Enterprise and Carrier Air Wing One are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR to conduct maritime security operations and to provide support to operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.
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