Arabian Sea: Center Of West's 21st Century War
A quarter of the world's nuclear aircraft carriers will soon be in the Arabian Sea.
The Nimitz class nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Abraham Lincoln arrived in the region on October 17 to join the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, which in turn had arrived there on June 18 as part of a regular rotation.
The Charles de Gaulle, flagship of the French navy, the country's only aircraft carrier and the sole non-American nuclear
carrier, will soon join its two U.S. counterparts. The U.S. possesses half the world's twenty-two aircraft carriers, all eleven supercarriers (those displacing over 70,000 tons) and eleven of twelve nuclear carriers.
Regarding the unscheduled deployment of a second American aircraft carrier to the region, a CBS News report stated:
"Air strikes in Afghanistan are up 50 per cent and now Defense Secretary Gates has ordered a second aircraft carrier, the USS Lincoln, into the fight.
"Two carriers operating off the coast of Pakistan means about 120 aircraft available for missions over Afghanistan. And that's not counting U.S. Air Force missions flown out of Bagram and Kandahar." 
The countries bordering the Arabian Sea are Somalia, Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Pakistan, India and the island nation of Maldives.
USS Lincoln and USS Truman are currently assigned to the Fifth Fleet's area of responsibility, which
encompasses the Northern Indian Ocean and its branches and offshoots: The Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the eastern coast of Africa south to Kenya, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.
The nations on the Red Sea and Persian Gulf are, in addition to those mentioned above, Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan and Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, respectively.
The Fifth is the first fleet established in the post-Cold War period, recommissioned in 1995 after being deactivated in 1947. (Similarly, the Fourth Fleet, which is assigned to the Caribbean Sea and Central and South America, was reactivated two years ago after being decommissioned in 1950.)
It shares a commander and headquarters with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) at Manama, Bahrain, across the Persian Gulf from Iran. CENTCOM was the last regional military command launched by the
Pentagon during the Cold War (1983) and its area of responsibility stretches across what has been referred to as the Broader Middle East from Egypt in the west to Kazakhstan, bordering China and Russia, to the east.
The Fifth Fleet and Naval Forces Central Command are jointly in charge of five naval task forces operating in and near the Arabian Sea which patrol several of the most strategic chokepoints on the planet: The Suez Canal linking the Mediterranean Sea, where the U.S. Sixth Fleet and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Operation Active Endeavor hold sway, to the Red Sea. The Bab Al Mandeb connecting the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden. The Strait of Hormuz between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.
Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) is a multinational naval group established in 2001 with logistics facilities in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti and operates from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Aden and past the Bab
Al Mandeb to the Red Sea and south to the Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles. Last year the Pentagon secured a military facility in Seychelles, its second in an African nation, where it has deployed Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), PC-3 Orion anti-submarine and surveillance aircraft, and 112 Navy personnel. Other nations currently contributing ships and personnel to CTF-150 are Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Pakistan, South Korea and Thailand. Recent participants also include Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and Turkey.
Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) was launched in January of 2009, operates in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin and covers an area of 1.1 million square miles. Twenty nations are scheduled to participate in the U.S.-led task force and Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea and Turkey have already enlisted. Its commanders
to date have been from the U.S., Britain, South Korea and Turkey.
Combined Task Force 152 (CTF-152) operates from the northern Persian Gulf to the Strait of Hormuz, between the areas of responsibility of CTF-150 and CTF-158, and is part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.