From the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, avoiding a war with nearby Iran looks an awful lot like preparing for one. When CBS News arrived, the carrier was at full throttle in the Arabian Sea, flying 80 to 100 surveillance and training runs a day.
U.S. forces regularly patrol these waters, but this is anything but routine. The carrier was specifically sent here as a deterrent in response to what the Trump administration believes are threats from Iran. But it has yet to go through the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial channel for the world's oil trade and a potential flashpoint with Iran.
Rear Adm. John F.G. Wade declined to discuss specifics.
"It's unique because there's been credible threats against our forces and against others in this region," he said. "I have seen the intelligence and they're credible."
Credible enough for National Security Advisor John Bolton to redirect the Lincoln, along with B-52 bombers and hundreds more U.S. troops to the region.
"The message is we are here, we are ready. We came here fully prepared, fully trained, ready to go," said Capt. William Reed, commander of Carrier Air Wing 7.
Washington has already warned Iran that any attack on American forces or U.S. interests would be met with fierce retaliation.
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