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USS George H.W. Bush in Persian Gulf as contingency for Iraq military option

The USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group is pre-positioned in the Arabian Gulf to "provide the decision space and options for the President" regarding the crisis in Iraq, the aircraft's commander, Rear Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III, said Monday.

By JC Finley
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USS George H.W. Bush in Persian Gulf as contingency for Iraq military option
An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator launches Tuesday, May 14, 2013 from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is the first aircraft carrier to successfully catapult launch an unmanned aircraft from its flight deck. (UPI/Timothy Walter/US Navy) | License Photo

BAGHDAD, June 16 (UPI) -- The USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group arrived in the Persian Gulf on Monday, the Commander, Rear Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III, announced via Facebook.

"As soon as it became apparent that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were marching toward Baghdad, the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group was ordered to reposition to be 'where it matters' and 30 hours later, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103) joined USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) and USS Okane (DDG 77) in the Arabian Gulf, 'where it matters, when it matters,'" the commander said.

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The deployment of the warships to the Persian Gulf gives U.S. President Barack Obama "additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq," Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement Saturday.

Miller explained, "In times of crisis, Naval Forces operating forward are responsive and provide the decision space and options for the President. That's why we're here and that's what we do. Carrier strike groups bring a physical and political presence that act as a deterrent, and when deterrence fails, we possess credible combat power that provides the assured joint access to fight and win."

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