Saturday, March 19, 2011
Who's - who over Libya ...
In all, the U.S. Navy has five combat ships in the Mediterranean, including at least one guided-missile destroyer, but there are no U.S. aircraft carriers close to Libya.
The USS Enterprise, which recently was stationed in the Red Sea, has been moved eastwards, away from Libya, to join the USS Carl Vinson, in the Arabian Sea to support Afghanistan operations.
—Has two guided-missile destroyers in the Mediterranean, the USS Barry and USS Stout, two amphibious warships, the USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce, and a command-and-control ship, the USS Mount Whitney. The submarine USS Providence was also in the Mediterranean.
—Witnesses reported five F-18s, two C-17s and a C-130 cargo plane arrived at U.S. air base at Aviano in northern Italy, which is home to the 31st Fighter Wing.
Aviano, south of the Alps in Italy, is the region's only U.S. air base with aircraft assigned to it -- 42 F-16s. The Pentagon has not discussed the positioning of other planes in the region. The United States has a range of Mediterranean military bases and installations in Italy, Greece, Spain and Turkey.
Canada's HMCS Charlottetown warship has joined naval actions, including a naval blockade, taking place off Libya, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters.
Canadian fighter jets have reached the region but need another day or two of preparation before they can join the mission, a Canadian government spokesman said.
Italy has deployed dozens of combat aircraft at its base at Trapani, in western Sicily in readiness for possible involvement in airstrikes on Libya.
Tornado fighters that can be used to destroy enemy air defenses and radar as well as F-16s and Eurofighters used for air-to-air defense have been moved to Trapani from bases in Piacenza in northern Italy, Gioia del Colle in Apulia.
Italy has offered the use of a NATO base near Naples for joint command center for the joint operation, and could participate later on in military activities, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.
Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said in all seven bases in Italy -- at Amendola, Gioia del Colle, Sigonella, Aviano, Trapani, Decimomannu and Pantelleria -- were available and some allies had asked to use them.
Five are on the southern mainland or Sicily, making them some of the closest available bases to Libya.
—Deployed eight Rafale and four Mirage jets to survey rebel-held Benghazi; one fired on a Libyan military vehicle in first military strike of operation.
—Six C-135 refueling tankers
—1 AWACS surveillance plane
—Deploying the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to the region Sunday from Toulon
—Also envisages using anti-air frigates Jean-Bart and Forbin, anti-submarine frigate Dupleix, the Aconit frigate and a refueling ship La Meuse.
—Six F-16s arrived at U.S. air base in Sigonella, Sicily and could be deployed as early as Sunday; 132 support staff.
—Sent four F-18s and a Boeing 707 refueling plane to Italy base.
—Deploying a submarine, naval frigate and a surveillance plane.
—Placed two bases at NATO's disposal, Rota and Moron de la Frontera, where several U.S. Air Force planes were seen Friday.
—Said it would send Typhoon and Tornado jets to air bases, but no British fighter assets have yet been forward deployed, the Ministry of Defense said.
Tornadoes took off from RAF Marham in Norfolk shortly after a barrage of 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles - some of them British - was fired at Libya to knock out the dictator's air defence systems at more than 20 coastal locations.
—Britain's air base in southern Cyprus, RAF Akrotiri, supporting AWACS surveillance aircraft and has a team of personnel there to coordinate British aircraft movement.
—Two British frigates, HMS Westminster and HMS Cumberland, are in the Mediterranean off Libya's coast.
—Offered six F-16s, with around 100 support staff, but operational capabilities five-six days off.
—Considering contributing an Orion maritime surveillance plane.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 7:20 PM