US warships stay in Mediterranean amid Ukraine, Russia fears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group to stay in the Mediterranean Sea region rather than move on to the Middle East, amid worries about the buildup of thousands of Russian troops near the Ukraine border.

A defense official says the change in the schedule of the USS Harry S. Truman and the five American warships accompanying it reflects the need for a persistent presence in Europe.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military deployment details, says the change is necessary to reassure U.S. allies and partners in the region.

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