The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group departed Naval Station Norfolk on a deployment to the East Mediterranean. Photo: USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)/Facebook

VIDEO: Thousands of VA Sailors Deploy to Mediterranean Amid Gaza Airstrikes

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower—a U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group—left Naval Station Norfolk Saturday for a several-month deployment overseas. The thousands of sailors have known for months this day was coming, but they didn’t know they’d be arriving to the Mediterranean during an Israeli-Hamas war that’s battering the Gaza strip with airstrikes and bloodshed.

UPDATE: As of Saturday, Oct. 21, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin redirected the movement of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to the Middle East, based on “recent escalations by Iran” and to “assist in the defense of Israel.” In a statement, Austin said, “It will further increase our force posture and strengthen our capabilities and ability to respond to a range of contingencies.” 

Cheryl Costello finds out what life on the Eisenhower is going to look like for our local sailors and how their mission changes amid the war. Watch below: