There will be more periods next year where the U.S. will not have aircraft carriers in the both the Middle East and East Asia regions, a top Navy official said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Navy Vice Adm. John Aquilino told the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee that there would be times next year where the Middle East would not have a single U.S. aircraft carrier and its accompanying strike group.

“There are in the next year, some periods similar to what we are seeing in the [Central Command area of responsibility] now,” said Aquillno. […]