Saturday, January 28, 2012

U.S. Navy Wants Commando 'Mothership' In Middle East

Craig Whitlock at the Washington Post offers a piece on the U.S. Navy's plan to convert the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock, into a Special Operations 'Mothership.'

This, in my view, is an outstanding idea, not only due to mobility and striking power, but also for force protection - the safety of the Navy commandos and support personnel.

This also means we won't be dependant on a host country to provide a base for our Special Operations forces.

The USS Kitty Hawk had her combat aircraft removed after 9/11 and during the start of the war in Afghanistan the carrier was used as a floating base for Special Operations. Navy SEALs on helicopters were launched from the carrier's deck and transported into Afghanistan.    

The Pentagon is rushing to send a large floating base for commando teams to the Middle East as tensions rise with Iran, al-Qaeda in Yemen and Somali pirates, among other threats.

In response to requests from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, the Navy is converting an aging warship it had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos. Unofficially dubbed a “mothership,” the floating base could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by Navy SEALs, procurement documents show.

You can read the rest of the story via the below link:

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