False Claims on the High Seas | God's World News

False Claims on the High Seas

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    The USS aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower sails in the Red Sea on June 12, 2024. (AP/Bernat Armangue)
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    A fighter jet maneuvers on the deck of Eisenhower in the Red Sea. (AP/Bernat Armangue)
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The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is one of the oldest aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy. But the ship is still floating and fighting—despite claims by Yemen’s Houthi rebels to the contrary.

The Houthi movement is an Iran-backed Islamic group that emerged in the 1990s. The Houthis’ rebellion against the Yemeni army grew into a full-scale civil war that continues to this day.

Since November, Houthis have targeted both commercial vessels and warships in the Red Sea. Eisenhower leads the U.S. response to those attacks. The campaign against the Houthi rebels is the most intense running sea battle the Navy has faced since World War II, experts say.

Journalists recently visited Eisenhower. They say that other than some rust on the side and a leaky pipe, the ship appears no worse for wear. Its flight deck bears no blast damage or gaping holes. Yet Houthis and their supporters allege that they have hit or even sunk the ship.

The war of words puts unusual pressure on Captain Christopher “Chowdah” Hill and his social media account. He posts positive messages about his crew, their families, the Navy, and Eisenhower on his social media account. His nearly 86,000 followers on X keep up with what’s happening on the ship.

Hill’s posts include pictures and videos of soldiers eating cookies, cheering at an all-hands meeting, or sending a jet soaring off the deck. The posts represent the different kind of information warfare the Navy is fighting.

“I think it’s been about two or three times in the past six months we’ve allegedly been sunk,” Hill says. “It is almost comical at this point. [The Houthis] are attempting to maybe inspire themselves through misinformation, but it doesn’t work on us.”

“The whole intent of the social media outreach was to connect with families,” Hill explains. “So if I can post pictures of sons and daughters, husbands and wives out here, or even fathers and mothers . . . it just kind of brings the family closer to us. And again, that’s our support network. But it also took on another role because everyone else was watching to see what we’re doing.”

Ever popular are images of Captain Demo, the Labrador-golden retriever mix who roams the ship as a support animal. As for Houthi forces watching his postings, Hill takes special pleasure in writing about “Taco Tuesday” on the ship.

“It’s my absolute favorite day of the week,” the captain says. “If you call that an information warfare campaign, you can. It’s just who I am, you know, at the end of the day.”

As the Red Sea campaign continues, Hill’s upbeat messages boost the spirits of the nearly 5,000 personnel aboard Eisenhower as deployment stretches on.

Still, morale remains a concern for Hill and other leaders. Sailors on Eisenhower have been ashore only once in eight months. The Houthis launch some kind of attack nearly every day. Sailors sometimes have seconds to confirm a launch, confer with other ships, and open fire on an incoming missile barrage.

The mission of Eisenhower has been extended twice already. And it could happen again. But Hill says his sailors remain ready to fight—and he remains ready to captain in his own enthusiastic style.

“I came to a revelation at some point in my career that one of the things that all humans require is to be loved and valued,” Hill says. “So I shouldn’t be afraid, as a leader, to try to love and value everybody.”

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. — John 15:13

Pray for wisdom and safety for those in the Red Sea, and for comfort for those who are separated from their families. Thank God for His perfect love for us.