Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

CTF-Horn of Africa: Ready for Operations

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • CTF-Horn of Africa: Ready for Operations

    U.S. Opens Anti-Terror Mission in Horn of Africa
    Fri December 13, 2002 11:40 AM ET
    By Yasser Boullo

    DJIBOUTI (Reuters) - The United States inaugurated a mission aimed at hunting down any extremist networks operating in the Horn of Africa Friday, sending one of its most advanced warships to anchor the operation.

    The mission area has proved a flashpoint for the U.S. "war on terror" in recent weeks, following the seizure of a ship containing Scud missiles in the Arabian sea Monday and attacks on Israeli targets in Kenya in November.

    Washington has sought to bolster its counter-terrorism efforts in the Horn of Africa in the wake of the September 11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan amid concerns that the area could become a haven or breeding ground for extremists.

    "Today, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa has arrived on station," force commander Major-General John F. Sattler, told reporters on arrival in the tiny northeast African state of Djibouti, home of a U.S. base taking part in the mission.

    "The global war on terrorism is not a war against any people or religion -- it is a struggle between the forces of freedom and those who seek to spread hatred and fear, both in the Horn of Africa region, and around the world," he said.

    Sattler said the Task Force would seek to defeat "transnational terrorist groups" posing a threat in the mission area, which he said covered Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya and Yemen.

    NERVE CENTER

    The U.S.S. Mount Whitney has sailed to the region to serve as a nerve center for the mission, which is comprised of at least 1,300 personnel, including elite special forces and Marines based on the ship and at a base in Djibouti.

    Djibouti, a strategic port which lies on a key shipping artery linking Europe and Asia, hosts U.S., French, British, Spanish and German forces patrolling the seas off the Horn of Africa in an operation to hunt militants launched in February.

    Spanish forces intercepted a North Korean ship carrying 15 Scud missiles in the Arabian Sea Monday on a U.S. tip-off. Washington later released the shipment, which Yemen said was for use by its army, and apologized to Spain.

    In Kenya, militants staged a suicide bomb attack on an Israeli-owned hotel that killed 16 people on November 28, minutes after missiles narrowly missed an airliner packed with Israeli tourists taking off nearby.

    The al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, which Washington blames for the September 11 attacks, claimed responsibility for the Kenya attacks, which happened near the port city of Mombasa.

    Neighboring Somalia, which descended into anarchy in 1991, is viewed by Washington as a potential haven for extremists who might seek sanctuary its law and order vacuum.

    Sattler said the Task Force is comprised of about 400 personnel based on board the Mount Whitney, with another 900 personnel based at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti and a small number of liaison officers working in other parts of the region.
    This operation has the potential for alot of problems. Many of these countries are experiencing civil unrest and war. The local governments lack total control of terrority within their borders. The terrorists likely have stronger ties to the local population than the legitimate government. In the case of Sudan, confronting terrorists will likely mean confronting the Khartoum Regime, who not only supports terrorism, but have replaced many of it's military commanders with Islamic Fundamentalists (whatever that is). This has cost them dearly in their civil war. The risk for being sucked into local disputes are high. In addition, there is a chance confronting these terrorists will be seen as US-aggression.

    Unfortunately, I can't say we have any other choice. The United States can't depend on the local governments to deal with these terrorists. And no-one can deny the region is definately a hot-zone for terrorism based on recent events.

    Still it is a very dangerous operation. There is no clear end in sight. We will need to maintain some military presence as long as the region is so unstable. Terrorists thrive in chaos. Little or no government control favors their activities.

    VERY DANGEROUS
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

  • #2
    Only if it were....

    Hello Deltapooh,

    Glad to hear from you again!

    Anyway, only if it were that simple! I do honestly wish that we had a bigger navy to launch the operations from the carrier groups alone. Though we do have this capability, it's limited in scope. But if you can imagine being able to do this in the terms of long operations, then this would give us great flexibility in determining whether to kiss our allies' asses or kick them like hell.

    Man, I wish we had a single carrier group that could carry 200,000 troops all the time, a sort of floating base, if you will. Of course, it's pure fantasy, and unrealistic. Even if it were possible, I would reject it outright considering tactical situations and folly in giving our enemies ampble opportunities in knocking out even a single carrier, that would be disastrous.

    However, I realize this a bit off-topic, but I believe it is important to continue developing lighter weapons and armors but pack a lot of firepower.

    I bet you my life if US could develop small hand-held laser weapons like those we see in the likes of Star Trek, and have some fore-field capabilities, this would drastically reduce the need for allies and manpower in mauling some bad tangoes....

    I know it's unrealistic, but couldn't I dream all day long?!

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

    "Aim small, miss small."

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Cheetah772.

      Actually, your ideal is not so un-realistic. There were discussions about building a floating airbase, capable of launching and landing aircraft without catapults and catch wires. I believe it would have been something like 10,000ft feet long, and several thousand feet wide! The idea never went farther than a discussion or two.

      Carriers are expensive. The cost around $4 billion to produce, and over $500 million per year to operate. That doesn't include it's airwing. They cost billions more to protect. Carriers sail as part of a CVBG (Carrier Battle Group). There can be anywhere from six to twelve vessels, along with one or two attack subs surrounding a Carrier. Otherwise, as you stated, they would be sitting ducks for attack.

      A floating Airbase to accomodate 200,000 troops would be the size of an island. It would cost tens of billions of dollars to create, and billions more per year to operate.

      It's not a completely bad ideal though. Foreign bases, particularly in hot zones can be hazardous. The enemy can surround the base, and monitor activity. In addition, when we use someone's land as a base, we must keep the government informed of activity and get permission before doing something. Carriers, on the otherhand, operate in International waters and need only permission to violate someone's airspace. Of course this is not necessary if the planes fly straight from the carrier to the their target, without passing over a third party's country. That's alot of freedom.

      In part, this is one of the reasons why CTF-Horn of Africa are using the USS Mount Whitney as the Nerve Center. It really cuts back on security concerns.
      "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

      Comment


      • #4
        Speaking of carriers, I caught a quick mention on CNN regarding the next planned Nimitz class carrier. Apparently they want to name it the USS George H.W. Bush. Is this true? Seems strange to get a Nimitz class carrier with your name after only two years in office. Perhaps I mis-understood the news bit!?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Martin Schenkel
          Speaking of carriers, I caught a quick mention on CNN regarding the next planned Nimitz class carrier. Apparently they want to name it the USS George H.W. Bush. Is this true? Seems strange to get a Nimitz class carrier with your name after only two years in office. Perhaps I mis-understood the news bit!?
          Bush Sr. is getting the carrier named after him, not Bush Jr.
          "Lord... forgive me my actions, speech and thoughts. Because, Lord, I am seriously going to kick some unrighteous ass in Your Name, Amen."
          Princess of Wands by John Ringo (Jan 2006)

          http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200601...9232.htm?blurb

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dan Neely


            Bush Sr. is getting the carrier named after him, not Bush Jr.
            That's what I thought. Thanks for clarifying.

            I wonder when they'll name a ship after Clinton? Perhaps a submarine, for it's cigar-like shape and it's tendency for launching incriminating projectiles?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Martin Schenkel


              That's what I thought. Thanks for clarifying.

              I wonder when they'll name a ship after Clinton? Perhaps a submarine, for it's cigar-like shape and it's tendency for launching incriminating projectiles?
              Good one sir. LOL
              "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

              Comment

              Latest Topics

              Collapse

              Working...
              X