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Mahan Left Mediterranean, Standing By for Air Strike: CNO

by Brendan McGarry on September 5, 2013


The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Mahan, has sailed from the Mediterranean Sea to the eastern Atlantic Ocean, where it could still respond to a potential military strike on Syria, the service’s top officer said.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is staying within the service’s 6th Fleet area of operations to “be made available, if necessary,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said today during a briefing at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C. The fleet “will determine what to do with her,” he added.

Previous reports indicated the ship, which can carry as many as 90 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, or TLAMs, was en route to her home port of Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after an extended deployment to the region.

Obama administration officials are pressing lawmakers to support a limited air campaign against Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians. U.S. intelligence has determined the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, in an Aug. 21 sarin gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus.

Despite overwhelming public opposition to U.S. involvement in Syria, a Senate panel yesterday voted 10–7 in support of a resolution authorizing the use of military force in the country. The full Senate and the House may decide on the measure next week.

The resolution would set a 60-day deadline for military action, with an optional a 30-day extension, and bar the deployment of ground troops to the country, or “boots on the ground.” The language must still be approved by the full Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Navy has positioned four destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean, including the USS Stout, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Gravely. The amphibious assault ship, USS San Antonio, is also in the Med on routine port visit to Haifa, Israel, according to a Defense Department official who asked to remain anonymous to freely discuss ship locations.

The Nimitz carrier strike group is also in the Red Sea. In addition to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, which holds some 80 aircraft, the strike group includes three destroyers, the USS William P. Lawrence, the USS Stockdale and the USS Shoup, as well as the cruiser USS Princeton.

None of the vessels has been tasked yet to support contingency operations in Syria, the official said.

Military​.com reporter Richard Sisk contributed to this report.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

blight_ September 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Chances are fleet deployment will put another "extra" DDG close enough to go to Syria if required.


Joseph Senko September 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm

This could erupt into a major shooting war. I worry about our troops on the ground.


Hal September 6, 2013 at 9:08 am
blight_ September 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

I worry about the clandestine soldiers who won't be rescued for plausible deniability. Don't get captured.


Steve September 8, 2013 at 6:04 am

Clandestine soldiers helping AQ. Well, they can go fck themselves then


Ben September 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

That's just the front they put up to get people to buy into it. Airstrikes without boots on the ground is like playing a game of Battleship when you're trying to hit mobile targets. It'll just be a big waste of money and ordnance (and even more so if we send in the troops).


USS ENTERPRISE September 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm
USS ENTERPRISE September 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Wow you all are ignorant, and cruel. You all try to build that good. Oh wait, you all lack the talent.


David September 6, 2013 at 8:40 am

goodmorning in time, i thanks this efore encourage me Mr David and your courrie undesireble in my box

i'd like to ask question on your office! if peapole how live outsaid u.s. want and favoure the u.s.a. armay to training , how can training according i live outsaid u.s.a ?


David September 6, 2013 at 8:44 am

how can trainig if i live outsaid u.s.



RCDC September 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

They probably need some replenishments like food, water, dvd, mariah carey cd, sony ps3, etc


jhm September 8, 2013 at 1:27 am

Korean War a lie? The millions of dead in Korea, the loss of most of my elders to that war a lie? Dude wake up and smell the napalm


tiger September 8, 2013 at 9:23 pm

You must have the room next to John Hinkley….


tiger September 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Sigh………. I think you do need a rest. As for your links? Alex Jones. What, Art Bell not available?


peter popff September 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

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