The U.S. is surging support to Israel in its fight against Hamas by accelerating the delivery of weapons, including air defense capabilities and munitions, to the country.
Since Saturday's attack, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and the National Security Council have actively conveyed the U.S. unequivocal support for Israel's right to self-defense to allies and partners in the Middle East and Europe.
"We remain in constant, ongoing contact with our counterparts in Israel to determine and then support their most urgent requirements," a senior defense official said. "The bottom line is we are working as fast as possible to provide critically needed munitions of various types and other equipment."
Defense Department officials are also working with U.S. industry to expedite the shipment of military equipment that Israel had already ordered. "We're also working across the DOD enterprise, including with U.S. Central Command, to assess what munitions and other equipment are in U.S. inventories that can be made quickly available to Israel," the official said.
The United States is also increasing its presence in the region. Austin ordered the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The aircraft carrier has an embarked air wing and accompanying cruisers and destroyers. The force will conduct maritime and air operations to assure allies and partners throughout the region and ensure regional stability. The strike group is prepared for the full range of missions.
Austin also ordered more Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft to squadrons in the region.