US Navy ships
US Navy shipsiStock

The US military will move Navy ships and military aircraft closer to Israel in a show of support for the Jewish state following the massive Hamas attack on Saturday, which set off a war against the terror organization.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin stated on Sunday that he ordered the movement of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean. This includes the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), as well as the Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).

The secretary added: "We have also taken steps to augment U.S. Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region. The US maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this deterrence posture if required."

Austin opened his statement, writing: "My thoughts continue to be with the people of Israel and the many families who have lost loved ones as a result of the abhorrent terrorist attack by Hamas. Today, in response to this Hamas attack on Israel, and following detailed discussions with President Biden, I have directed several steps to strengthen Department of Defense posture in the region to bolster regional deterrence efforts."

Later, he added: "In addition, the United States government will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions. The first security assistance will begin moving today and arriving in the coming days"

"Strengthening our joint force posture, in addition to the material support that we will rapidly provide to Israel, underscores the United States' ironclad support for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli people. My team and I will continue to be in close contact with our Israeli counterparts to ensure they have what they need to protect their citizens and defend themselves against these heinous terrorist attacks," he concluded.

Sky News added that these vessels will “likely include missiles to replenish stocks of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system - designed to shoot Hamas rockets before they impact in Israel.”

The movements could start immediately but would be completed only in several days.

The US is also in the process of making plans for helping Americans get out of Israel, through a possible non-combatant evacuation. No plans have been finalized, but officials are considering options, including one that involves putting some Americans on the Navy ships to get them to safety.