The United States will not have an aircraft carrier deployed to the Persian Gulf this fall for the first time in years, and the rare gap could hinder military capabilities in the war against the Islamic State, the Obama administration’s nominee to lead the Navy told the Senate on Thursday.

Adm. John Richardson conceded the effects of a two-month gap in carrier presence — the first since 2007 — under intense questioning from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as the Senate Armed Services Committee weighs whether to approve the admiral’s nomination as chief of naval operations.

“Without that carrier, that will be a detriment to our capability, yes, sir,” Richardson said. […]