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WASHINGTON: The US military will maintain only one aircraft carrier in the Gulf instead of two due to potential deep budget cuts that could kick in next month, Pentagon officials said on Wednesday.
For several years, the United States has kept two carriers deployed in the Gulf due to tensions with Iran, but uncertainty surrounding the Pentagon’s budget forced the decision, officials said.
The USS Harry S. Truman had been scheduled to head to the Gulf today from its port in Norfolk, Virginia, but Defence Secretary Leon Panetta cancelled the deployment after conferring with Navy commanders,
Panetta has “delayed the deployment” of the Truman and an accompanying guided missile cruiser, the USS Gettysburg, press secretary George Little said in a statement.