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U.S. to Speed Deployment of Aircraft Carrier to Mideast

The U.S. Defense Department is speeding deployment of the Navy’s John C. Stennis aircraft carrier group to the Middle East, four months ahead of its scheduled deployment, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

Marine Corps General James Mattis, commander of the U.S. Central Command, who has responsibility for the region, sought the earlier presence of the Stennis strike group and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approved the request, Little told reporters today.