The U.S. Navy has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, amid rising tensions with Iran.

The USS Enterprise joins the USS Abraham Lincoln warship, marking only the fourth time in the past decade that the U.S. Navy has had two aircraft carriers operating in the region at the same time.

Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost of the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said on Monday thatthe two carriers will support the American military operations in Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts off Somalia's coast and in the Gulf of Aden.

The battleships will also patrol the Gulf's strategic oil routes, which Iran has threatened to shut down in retaliation for economic sanctions.