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Massive number of US naval forces heading for the Persian Gulf

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posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 02:58 PM
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Some say it is muscle flexing only... I doubt whether it really is the case here, but don't get me wrong I am not claiming that the current activities would neceserilly mean preparations for war. Besides, I'm not a navy expert.


What if the Republicans fear the Democrats to get into control of the congress and launch an attack on Iran prior to the elections, or is the position of the congress totatally irrelevant when it comes to deciding whether the US should go to war or not?

However, should this purely speculative scenario become reality, withdrawing forces would become impossible.

Anyhow, by the end of the month there will be a massive number of US forces deployed in the Persian Gulf:

The Iwo Jima ESG
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7)
USS Nashville (LPD 13)
USS Whidbey Island ('___' 41)

Carrier Strike Group 12
USS Enterprise CVN 65
USS Philippine Sea (CG 58)
USS Gettysburg (CG 64)
USS Detroit (AOE 4)


The Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Enterprise with its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1. Also joining the Enterprise CSG for part of its deployment is the Argentine destroyer, ARA Sarandi (D 13). The integration of this foreign navy destroyer into the strike group’s training and deployment is expected to build interoperability between the U.S. and Argentine navies, and also set guidelines for future efforts with other coalition partners.


IKE CSG
USS Eisenhower CVN 69

Group (CCSG) 8, IKE CSG includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, with its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, and embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28; the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68); guided-missile destroyers USS Ramage (DDG 61) and USS Mason (DDG 87); and the fast-attack submarine USS Newport News (SSN 750), all homeported in Norfolk, Va.


The Boxer Exp Strike Group is also heading for the Persian Gulf, and accompanied by the Canadian navy:

ESG 5
USS Bunker Hill (LHD 4)
USS Boxer (LHD 4)
USS Dubuque (LPD 8)
USS Comstock ('___' 45)
USS Benfold (DDG 65)
USS Howard (DDG 83).


Also deploying with the strike group is Amphibious Squadron 5, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Coast Guard Cutter midgett (WHEC 726) and Canadian frigate HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341).



UK...
HMS Albion (LPD)
-Deployable
HMS Ocean (LHA)
-Deployable, but TB outbreak may scuttle any hopes
for future near-term ops

France...
Navy currently at




posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 04:00 PM
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Yeah I remember reading this a week or so ago and not believing the source, then the other night I was watching charlie rose interview gorbechev, Gorby asked charlie if he was aware of the large naval build-up going on. That was all the confirmation I needed. Now I see your article here.
Good Eye for news my friend.
This is only the next logical step I would think.



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 04:13 PM
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This looks like an update for this thread:
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 01:52 AM
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I just found a very interesting article/interview with an ex government advisor on the situation:

Note to the mods, I did try to cut out irrelevant information but it wouldn't make sense to limit the size to just one paragraph, at least in this case




Oct-20-06 13:05

Berkeley, 20 Oct. (AKI) - (by Carola Mamberto) - With North Korea threatening more nuclear weapons tests, officials in Washington have placed the option of a military attack back on the table as they consider ways to prevent Iran from developing atomic weapons, experts say. Until recently, analysts agreed it was very unlikely that the United States - which is spending over 4.5 billion dollars a month on the conflict in Iraq - would take unilateral action to strike nuclear facilities in Iran, opening another front in the Middle East.

But some influential circles in Washington are now reconsidering the military option, according to Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian-American Council and among the foremost US-based scholars on Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"Since it cannot punish North Korea, the Bush administration will intensify efforts to prevent the Iranians from developing atomic weapons," Parsi, a former US government adviser, told Adnkronos International (AKI).

"Iran is in a fairly strong position … but if the current situation continues, I can see a military attack happening within months, possibly at the beginning of 2007," he said.

According to Parsi, many in Washington now feel that Iran shouldn't be allowed to walk in Pyongyang's footsteps.

[b"A lot of people, especially in Europe, think that the US cannot exercise the military option, that it cannot start another war," Parsi said. "But the Bush administration follows its own logic. The initial preference it had for Iran was regime change, but if that doesn't work, I don't rule out a military attack," he added.

Rumors about a possible American intervention in Iran have been intensifying after the US government deployed a naval strike group to the Straits of Hormuz, off the Iranian coast. The war ships - which include the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier U.S.S. Eisenhower, a cruiser, a destroyer, a frigate, a submarine and a supply ship - are scheduled to arrive in the Straits on Saturday.

The mission of the strike group is not known, but according to reports in the Iranian press, the war ships have been sent to the Gulf to launch a military attack against Teheran.Parsi said he has no specific knowledge of the operation, but added he wouldn't be surprised if the Bush administration had taken actual steps towards a military strike.

He said there are now two competing currents in Washington. The first one, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, favours the use of force. The second one calls for more flexibility on the US part, insisting that the Bush administration should agree to hold bilateral talks with Teheran on issues other than nuclear proliferation, so that tensions can be defused.

"There is no strategy right now, but more and more people think that the use of force might be the only way out with Iran," said Parsi.

Dariush Zahedi, a scholar in Iranian studies at UC Berkeley and author of "The Islamic Revolution in Iran", agrees that strategic air strikes against Teheran's nuclear installations are "very much a viable option" for the US. But he warns of the negative impacts that such a move would have.

"First of all, there are no guarantees that striking is going to reduce Iran's capabilities," Zahedi said in an interview with AKI. "Secondly, Teheran would immediately withdraw from the NPT and start retaliating against the US."

There are many ways in which Ahmadinejad's government may hit back at Washington, Zahedi said.

Iran, the expert pointed out, has many cards to play in Iraq as well as Afghanistan, two countries where it has great influence among the Shia communities.

Teheran could also make common cause with the Sunni insurgency, or mobilize Shia partisans in the Persian Gulf area, especially in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer. Here, Shias have always felt discriminated against and it wouldn't take much, according to Zahedi, to "have them blow up oil installations, for example."

Besides the dangers of retaliation, a US military campaign against Iran would seriously undermine the Iranian democratic movement, Zahedi warned. "Iran has a relatively vibrant civil society compared to neighboring countries," he said. "This is a powerful, potential tool for democracy, but it would be the first victim in case of US strategic strikes."


Source

[edit on 21-10-2006 by Mdv2]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 02:28 AM
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Looks like a normal deployment to me.

I deployed a few times with Canadian ships as part of a Battle Group. I also deployed with the USCGC Sherman as part of a Surface Action Group. So to me, it's not really that big of a deal. Also a MEU always deploys as part of an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), now called an ESG.

The thing to look for is if the Iwo Jima and Enterprise groups depart the Gulf after conducting turnover with the arriving units. If they don't depart, then something is up.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 05:50 AM
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today.reuters.com/news




Facing nuclear disputes with Iran and North Korea, the United States, Bahrain and other states will hold their first naval exercise in the Gulf this month to practice interdicting ships carrying weapons of mass destruction and missiles, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.




[edit on 21-10-2006 by Dark Magician]

Mod Edit: Link format edited. Please review this post.

mod edit to use external quote code, please review this link

Mod Note: One Line and Short Posts – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 21-10-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 08:47 AM
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Just a practice exercise...nothing to see here, move on.

Mod Note: One Line and Short Posts – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 21-10-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by princeofpeace
Just a practice exercise...nothing to see here, move on.


I am not so sure about that. Did anyone keep track of the naval deployment in the weeks prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003?



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 09:07 AM
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I am trying to find similarities between the months prior to the invasion of Iraq and now, I did find an article of the French navy heading for the Persian Gulf for ''exercise purposes (February 4, 2003). However, if I am right, France did not directly partcipate in the war on Iraq.


Jan. 11 - 2003

The Guardian reports that a British naval task force has left for the Gulf headed by the HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier and carrying some 3,000 marines. The ship will head a 16-vessel naval task group on exercises in the area, involving more than 8,000 Navy and Marine personnel.



FRANCE is secretly preparing to wage war in Iraq - despite the public protestations of peace from President Jacques Chirac.

A powerful French naval force, headed by the flagship aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and including a nuclear submarine, left Toulon early today for the Gulf.

France's defence ministry described the mission as a training exercise.

But British defence officials privately welcomed the move, and are aware that other military preparations behind the scenes are well under way. It threatens to undermine the antiwar stance which M Chirac was expected to reaffirm at his summit today with Tony Blair. But the move will reassure the British side, convinced all along that when the crunch comes France would probably fall into line with the USled coalition against Saddam.

Mr Blair flew to northern France for a day of talks aimed at healing the row over Iraq which has split Europe, and a range of other conflicts between London and Paris.


and more...



Seven large-deck amphibious assault ships (LHAs/LHDs) are deployed to the region, and an eighth, the Wasp-class LHD USS Iwo Jima, is scheduled to deploy in March with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Marine Corps tactical aviation units dispatched to the Middle East include several AV-813 Marine attack and F/A-18 fighter-attack squadrons.

The buildup in the Middle East also has resulted in the largest activation of the Maritime Administration's Ready Reserve Force (RRF) since Operation Desert Shield/Storm more than a decade ago. As of mid-February a total of 34 RRF ships had been activated from the James River Reserve Fleet (Va.), joining four other RRF ships already on longterm assignment with the Military Sealift Command (MSC).

In addition, all 19 large, mediumspeed roll-on/roll-off (LMSR) ships assigned to the MSC have been actively engaged in sealift operations in support of Enduring Freedom. The USNS Bob Hope and the USNS Dahl, the LMSRs most recently activated, were assigned in mid-February to load up vehicles and helicopters of the Army's 101 st Airborne Division for overseas deployment.

Additional forces such as four mine warfare ships, MH-53E minesweeping helicopters assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15, diving and explosive ordnance disposal units, fleet hospitals, and ANGLICOs (Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Companies) also have been ordered to the Middle East. Nearly 1,000 Seabees had been deployed to the region by February, with more en route.

A 1,000-person unit, Commander, Maritime Prepositioning Force, has deployed to Kuwait to oversee logistics off-loads and port operations in support of the deployed Marine Air-Ground Task Force. Rear Adm. W. Clyde Marsh, commander of Amphibious Group Three, commands the force, which includes units from Amphibious Group Three, Naval Beach Group One, Amphibious Construction Battalions One and Two, Beachmaster Unit One, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One, Coastal Warfare Group One, Navy Cargo Handling and Port Group, and the Marine Corps' 2nd Force Service Support Group.

The Coast Guard has deployed eight Island-class 110-foot patrol boats from East Coast ports-along with 600 Coast Guard personnel-to the Persian Gulf to provide force-protection support to U.S. forces.

Australia has joined the United Kingdom as the only nations sending troops to the Middle East to support the buildup of U.S. forces. Approximately 350 Australian soldiers deployed for the region on board the transport ship Kanimbla. A squadron of F/A-18 Hornets as well as three C-130 Hercules transports also are being sent to the region.




[edit on 21-10-2006 by Mdv2]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 09:31 AM
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Oh jeez here we go again with this Administrations claims of nonexistant Weapons of Mass Destruction interdictions. Meanwhile we transport bombs and weaponry illegally through English airbases and our ally Israel is transporting munitions, weapons and supplies from US international airports on common commercial airlines (EL-AL) in international airports thoughout Europe putting thousands of people at risk.


Who needs to be watching who? The sky is falling the sky is falling!!!



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by ThePieMaN
Oh jeez here we go again with this Administrations claims of nonexistant Weapons of Mass Destruction interdictions.


Pie, the reasons why are not relevant to the purpose of this thread, I'm trying to find out what is going on as I am not fully convinced this to be yet another naval exercise.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 09:46 AM
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The exercise, set for Oct 31, is the 25th to be organised under the US-led 66-member Proliferation Security Initiative and the first to be based in the Gulf near Bahrain, across from Iran, the officials said.

A senior US official insisted the exercise is not aimed specifically at Iran, although it reinforces a US strategy aimed at strengthening America's ties with states in the Gulf, where Tehran and Washington are competing for influence.

'It's an effort to bring a lot of Gulf states together to demonstrate resolve and readiness to act against proliferation,' said the official.

The Proliferation Security Initiative, established in 2003 under President George W Bush, is a voluntary association of countries that agree to share intelligence information and work against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including through military exercises that practice interdiction techniques and coordination.

Bahrain and Kuwait are expected to be among the participating countries along with the US, France and Britain.

Other Gulf states are still deciding whether to join the sea-based exercise, which will be preceded by 'table-top' exercises at the US naval regional headquarters in Manama, Bahrain, one official said.

Source


That's an interesting fact, both Britain and France are present on the naval exercise, I wonder what kind of units they are going to deploy.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by bg_socalif
Looks like a normal deployment to me........

The thing to look for is if the Iwo Jima and Enterprise groups depart the Gulf after conducting turnover with the arriving units. If they don't depart, then something is up.


I have to agree with this. It looks like a normal replacement of forces normally on station. In the Gulf AND in the Med you will almost always find 1 carrier group in each and at least 1 Marine Expidetionary unit between the two, if also not one in each. Looks like the Gulf forces are just being rotated out and new ones in. Happens about every 6-9 mths. But as stated above, the interesting thing will be if the Iwo and Enterprise don't come out.......then you might have something.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 04:13 AM
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Wing Commander and Socalif,

I am not trying to argue with you as you both will probably have much more knowledge about the subject than I do, however, other sources are indicating that uncommon aspects are related to the deployment of the Ike group, no orders from Congress, which according to the source is normally a standard procedure prior to deployment:


The Eisenhower had been in port at the Naval Station Norfolk for several years for refurbishing and refueling of its nuclear reactor; it had not been scheduled to depart for a new duty station until at least a month later, and possibly not till next spring. Family members, before the orders, had moved into the area and had until then expected to be with their sailor-spouses and parents in Virginia for some time yet. First word of the early dispatch of the "Ike Strike" group to the Persian Gulf region came from several angry officers on the ships involved, who contacted antiwar critics like retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner and complained that they were being sent to attack Iran without any order from the Congress.

"This is very serious," said Ray McGovern, a former CIA threat-assessment analyst who got early word of the Navy officers' complaints about the sudden deployment orders. (McGovern, a twenty-seven-year veteran of the CIA, resigned in 2002 in protest over what he said were Bush Administration pressures to exaggerate the threat posed by Iraq. He and other intelligence agency critics have formed a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.)

....

One solid indication that the dispatch of the Eisenhower is part of a force buildup would be if the carrier Enterprise--currently in the Arabian Sea, where it has been launching bombing runs against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and which is at the end of its normal six-month sea tour--is kept on station instead of sent back to the United States. Arguing against simple rotation of tours is the fact that the Eisenhower's refurbishing and its dispatch were rushed forward by at least a month. A report from the Enterprise on the Navy's official website referred to its ongoing role in the Afghanistan fighting, and gave no indication of plans to head back to port. The Navy itself has no comment on the ship's future orders.
Source


[edit on 22-10-2006 by Mdv2]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by princeofpeace
Just a practice exercise...nothing to see here, move on.


thats what it was before Iraq was invaded
miliarty excercise in the gulf,

as i said in another topic
does this mean Iran have the right for a pre emtive strike on the US navel force with their full force of anti ship missiles and so on?

as the president of the united states him self said the US has the right to attack pre emtivily on targets that pose a threat to the US, and in sure that stands for all countries



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Magician
today.reuters.com/news




Facing nuclear disputes with Iran and North Korea, the United States, Bahrain and other states will hold their first naval exercise in the Gulf this month to practice interdicting ships carrying weapons of mass destruction and missiles, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.




[edit on 21-10-2006 by Dark Magician]

Mod Edit: Link format edited. Please review this post.

mod edit to use external quote code, please review this link

Mod Note: One Line and Short Posts – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 21-10-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]


interesting. Can we link this to the reports (that have vanished) about the North Korean ship that was being tracked?

www.iht.com...

[edit on 22-10-2006 by Peyres]



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 11:04 AM
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The following source, which I already quoted before - but in combination with another source makes it even more suspicous:



it [USS Eisenhower] had not been scheduled to depart for a new duty station until at least a month later, and possibly not till next spring. Family members, before the orders, had moved into the area and had until then expected to be with their sailor-spouses and parents in Virginia for some time yet. First word of the early dispatch of the "Ike Strike" group to the Persian Gulf region came from several angry officers on the ships involved, who contacted antiwar critics like retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner and complained that they were being sent to attack Iran without any order from the Congress.

"This is very serious," said Ray McGovern, a former CIA threat-assessment analyst who got early word of the Navy officers' complaints about the sudden deployment orders.


and:


Tehran, Iran, Oct. 23 – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is aware of “enemy movements”, the elite military force’s Supreme Commander declared on Sunday.

“As the superior military force in the Persian Gulf region, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces is aware of and has intelligence on movements by the militaries of enemies from beyond the region. It is closely monitoring their movements”, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi told a group of IRGC commanders.

General Safavi said that Middle East was facing “sensitive” months and years ahead.

“The enemies which were defeated in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon have reached the conclusion that the Muslim peoples of these countries have learnt the lesson of resistance and standing steadfast against foreigner’s domination from our great and sacrificing nation”, he said.

“From a political perspective, Iran’s political influence in the equation of the Middle East involving Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf has bewildered the enemies of the Islamic revolution. Thus, they have accepted Iran as an effective, influential, and determining power in this equation”, he added.

Source



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 12:25 PM
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DOMMINO #1 falls ,the attack starts in february, iran escalates problem in gulf. U.S.A to attack iran. time magazine to give tips to the oil problem. gas hikes to begin and more problems with north korea.



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by Mdv2
The following source, which I already quoted before - but in combination with another source makes it even more suspicous:



it [USS Eisenhower] had not been scheduled to depart for a new duty station until at least a month later, and possibly not till next spring. Family members, before the orders, had moved into the area and had until then expected to be with their sailor-spouses and parents in Virginia for some time yet. First word of the early dispatch of the "Ike Strike" group to the Persian Gulf region came from several angry officers on the ships involved, who contacted antiwar critics like retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner and complained that they were being sent to attack Iran without any order from the Congress.

"This is very serious," said Ray McGovern, a former CIA threat-assessment analyst who got early word of the Navy officers' complaints about the sudden deployment orders.




This doesn't make alot of sense though. Deployment orders (combat or regular cruises) don't come from Congress (that I am aware of), but from the military commands itself. And under the War Powers Act, the President doesn't need congressional approval to launch a military campaign just to keep troops in theater for more then 90 days.

So to say that a deployment is being moved up, and then officers go running to antiwar activists saying, "were being sent to Iran with out Congress knowing" (which by the way would land them at leavenworth for leaking classified info, particularly IF there were orders to attack Iran) is pretty ridiculous. Likely there are such orders for that contengency, but that doesn't mean they will do that.

Just to let you know, I think you probably will see an air campaign againt Iran in the coming months, and you may be right about this, but it seems like jumping the gun, just because a new carrier and amphib group are heading out.



posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by Sr Wing Commander

This doesn't make alot of sense though. Deployment orders (combat or regular cruises) don't come from Congress (that I am aware of)


Thanks for clarifying Sr Wing! However, as Bodrul already mentioned, wasn't it a similar scenario prior to the invasion of Iraq?

Anyway, we'll see whether it is just an exercise or not soon enough.

The Iranians are definitely worrying about it:



Source
Iran has criticised planned US military exercises in the Gulf as provocative.

Iran's official news agency IRNA quoted an unnamed foreign ministry official as describing the military manoeuvres as dangerous and suspicious.

Reports say the US is to hold naval exercises at the end of October with Bahrain, Kuwait, France and Britain.


Now we also which countries are going to participate. I particularly wonder what ships France and Britain have deployed.



[edit on 25-10-2006 by Mdv2]




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