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Massive US Air-Sea-Marine build-up opposite Iran Massive US Air-Sea-Marine build-up opposite Iran
May 20, 2010 DEBKA
An Obama decision to boost US military strength in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions in the short term with an extra air and naval strike forces and 6,000 Marine and sea combatants.
Carrier Strike Group 10, headed by the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, sails out of the US Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia Friday, May 21.
On arrival, it will raise the number of US carriers off Iranian shores to two.
Up until now, President Barack Obama kept just one aircraft carrier stationed off the coast of Iran, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea,
in pursuit of his policy of diplomatic engagement with Tehran.
For the first time, too, the US force opposite Iran will be joined by a German warship, the frigate FGS Hessen, operating under American command.
It is also the first time that Obama, since taking office 14 months ago, is sending military reinforcements to the Persian Gulf.
The USS Truman is just the first element of the new buildup of US resources around Iran. It will take place over the next 3 months, reaching peak level in late July and early August.
By then, the Pentagon plans to have at least 4 or 5 US aircraft carriers visible from Iranian shores.
The USS Truman's accompanying Strike Group includes Carrier Air Wing Three (Battle Axe) - which has 7 squadrons - 4 of F/A-18 Super Hornet and F/A-18 Hornet bomber jets,
as well as spy planes and early warning E-2 Hawkeyes that can operate in all weather conditions; the Electronic Attack Squadron 130 for disrupting enemy radar systems; and
Squadron 7 of helicopters for anti-submarine combat (In its big naval exercise last week,
Iran exhibited the Velayat 89 long-range missile for striking US aircraft carriers and Israel warships from Iranian submarines.)
Another four US warships will be making their way to the region to join the USS Truman and its Strike Group.
They are the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and guided missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill, USS Oscar Austin and USS Ross.
The 6,000 Marines and sailors aboard the Truman Strike Group come from 4 months of extensive and thorough training to prepare them for anticipated missions in the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean.
Hizballah threatens to sink Israel-bound shipsHizballah threatens to sink Israel-bound ships
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 Israel Today Staff
In a threat reminiscent of Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare during the two world wars, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday
threatened to sink any ships entering Israeli waters in the event of another war with the Jewish state.
Speaking to to supporters marking the perceived "victory" over Israel in 2000 when Israeli forces withdrew from their southern Lebanon security zone,
Nasrallah said that if war broke out and Israel again imposed a naval blockade on Lebanon, Hizballah missiles would target Israeli and non-Israeli ships in the area.
The Israeli navy patrolled the Lebanese coast during the 2006 Second Lebanon War to prevent additional illicit arms from reaching the terror group.
But Nasrallah characterized it as an attempt to choke Lebanon into submission, and said that next time around he would respond by
convincing people to stay away from Israel by killing anyone who got close to its shores.