Archive for March, 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Wikileaks, Anonymous, Tunisia, and Egypt mean for force structure of the military. Increasingly, I see conventional forces as modern day fusiliers, used to pin down an enemy while other types of forces maneuver around. Where as back in the Napoleonic era the maneuver forces were cavalry or lighter troops, today I view ‘other forces’ to be forces that do not even participate in actual combat. Where I see the most maneuver occurring is in the battlefield of ideas. After all, isn’t that the whole premise behind winning hearts and minds? I see this becoming difficult for leaders in that communication has to occur on two fronts at once – domestic and international. A lot was made over the claims that the Commander of NTM-A in Afghanistan was conducting psyops against Senators. This episode is evidence of this emergent nature of conflict – not because of what may, or may not have actually occurred. But, because that this event was even plausible to have occurred. When I was in Afghanistan, I had as much contact with my family as I did in the States (I know, I’m not a very good son, I don’t call home often enough). Being deployed isn’t being all that far away from home any more, maybe not in a literal sense, but in a cognitive and communicative sense it isn’t that far at all. How is a commander supposed to handle that connectivity?

Mao said that ‘political power comes from the barrel of a gun’, or something to that effect. While I don’t refute this fact completely, I will submit that the barrel of a gun no longer holds a monopoly on generating political power. Organizations are no longer required to organize people. It can be done nearly ‘automatically’, as evidenced by Tunisia, Egypt et al. political power now emanates as much from the tip of the Ethernet cable as it does from the gun. Woe unto the government which uses guns against those who wage a campaign with information, as well (e.g., using the internet to generate force does not warrant kinetic force in return). I’m sure that a lot of you are thinking that what I am saying here is all just apart of 4th generation warfare. But, I think this is beyond 4th generation. This is the 5th generation.

Sun Tsu talked about formlessness – how a general must keep his true disposition of forces concealed from his enemies. Anonymous is the epitome of such an axiom. Thousands of individuals motivated by all kinds of different things: For the lulz, political persuasion, a sense of belonging, to be cool, or even viewing organizations as their enemy. You can’t pin down a single cause, nor can you remove a single person and the organization collapses, you can’t point to a single type of person, you can’t name them all, they don’t even have a single raison d’être or cause célèbre. However, they do have a center of gravity, which is the ambiguous nature of ethics today. Any threat that emerged over the last year has done so in the moral and ethical gray areas created by the information age. The notion that information is now free is at the heart of the entire information revolution, the most extreme example of this being Wikileaks.

As a society, we are so far behind the curve in deciding and setting precedent for what ethics are now that information and communication are so ubiquitous that we are hurting ourselves. This too is a larger problem than what the military can fix, which is why we are left to hold the line while other more nimble forces must maneuver around to decide the outcome. Amazingly enough, I think these forces will culminate in the average citizen. It will be their interaction with others online that decide the outcome of this. However, I do not think it will be a simple affair, more formalized organizations will resist change and the debate will create more events like Egypt, in extreme cases. More common will be organizations like anonymous, not all of them will be hackers. But, will organize similarly and possibly cause much more difficulties for whomever they organize against.

I’m not completely sure what this is going to mean for force structure, but I know we can’t buy our way out of it. Nothing that any contractor can, or could, sell us will adapt the military to these challenges. What the Army has done to change from Division based deployments to Regiment based didn’t impress me much when I was in Afghanistan. My view of it was that it just caused a lot more confusion between the units (It was amazing to me to see such cultural differences between the different patches worn out there). The jury is still out (and will be for some time) on whether or not the modular concept for ships will work (I believe it will, but we’re learning it the most painful way possible). However, these initiatives are in the right spirit. It is that they just don’t strike at the heart of what we need to change. In reality, for us to adapt to the nature of modern conflict we’re going to have to change our culture. Medals, ribbons, uniforms and our organizational methods are all centuries old concepts. It was from the Prussians that we got our concept of the Flag Staff. It’s been nearly 100 years since Prussia ceased to exist (for all intents and purposes). Nothing I am proposing, or have said is ‘new’ is a revolution in any sense. All change that has occurred has been evolutionary in nature, and all change that must occur in the military must too be evolutionary. Directly working towards creating a Revolution in Military Affairs is like trying to grab a cloud. The whole of the military doesn’t need to evolve into some Wikileaks-Anonymous hybrid. But, their effectiveness needs to be noted and emulated. Bullets can’t kill ideas, only debate and dialog can.

A good officer or petty officer and a true leader will leave nothing undone to help and support his men when they need help; to lead when they need to be led, to punish when that, as a last resort, is necessary. That is where “Paternalism” comes into the picture. Authoity and taking care of your people. That combination is essential.

Leadership and Authority by Vice Admiral L. Hewlett Thebaud, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

The Command Investigation into the leadership oversight and responsibilities for production and broadcast of videos aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) from about 2006 through 2007 is an incredible read (PDF). The investigation was conducted by RADM Gerald R. Beaman, USN, whose biography be found here. We note from the outset that RADM Gerald Beaman is above board, and I highlight his experience as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 1981-1984 among other aspects of his experience that made him ideal for this investigation.

The report runs for 65 PDF pages and serves as an important document for understanding Command at Sea, command climate on a ship, and how a bad culture of command can contribute to the deterioration of the authority of command at sea. If for any reason you don’t want to read the entire document, I suggest at minimum reading the 27 opinions that run from PDF page 38 through PDF page 49.

The first 10 opinions are specific to the conduct of Captain OP Honors, and are quoted below.

  1. “The XO Movie Night” videos became almost “cult like” for the majority of Sailors aboard ENTERPRISE. The passageways were empty at 2000 on Saturday nights underway and the mess decks, wardrooms and berthing compartments were filled standing-room only with personnel watching the “XO Movie Night” video.
  2. With the average crew m.ember aged 20 years old, CAPT Honors was confronted with a generation of young adults who grew-up watching television shows such as Saturday Night Live, South Park, The Simpsons, and Family Guy. Because these shows routinely use sophomoric humor to entertain their audience, CAPT Honors consciously chose to use that same type of humor and entertainment to reach his targeted 20-year-old audience aboard ENTERPRISE. To the extent that CAPT Honors sought through “XO Movie Night” videos to reach a particular demographic in his effort to teach and inform the crew, his methods appear to have been successful, as evidenced, for example, by the crew’s good behavior ashore in foreign ports and the avoidance of imposing water restrictions known as “water hours.”
  3. During CAPT Honors’ tour as Executive Officer, the ENTERPRISE crew performed at a high level and enjoyed much success, as evidenced by the numerous unit awards received and the favorable comments of Flag Officers, senior officers and enlisted leadership. Many attributed this success and the excellent material condition of the ship to CAPT Honors’ engagement with the ship’s crew.
  4. CAPT Honors has good intentions in his creation of the “XO Movie Night” videos and certainly never intended for the videos to disgrace the Navy such as ultimately happened. I believe that the “XO Movie Night” video phenomenon slowly, but steadily over time, developed a mindset in CAPT Honors that caused him to elevate the hilarity or shock level from week-to-week. As a result of this mindset, and the lack of direct oversight from his superiors, CAPT Honors enabled the downward spiral in classless, tasteless humor and conduct that culminated in the production and broadcast of his very last XO video – a compilation of the most offensive XO videos that contained repeated profanity, anti-gay slurs, simulated masturbation, and sexual innuendos.
  5. During ENTERPRISE’s 2007 work-ups and deployment, “XO Movie Night” videos continued with the same purpose as the 2006 videos, which was to provide a message to the crew through the use of humor and entertainment. From viewing the XO videos, it is apparent that the sophomoric humor not only continued on the 2007 deployment but degenerated to an “all time low” with CAPT Honors’ final video as Executive Officer. The humor and tone gradually became more lewd and disrespectful of time-honored Navy customs and standards, culminating with CAPT Honors’ repeated use of the word “f*ck,” use of anti-gay slurs, and display of simulated masturbation scenes that went beyond sophomoric humor. THe fact that CAPT Honors and the Public Affairs/Media Department personnel proceeded with the broadcast of these last few videos during the end of his tenure as Executive Officer is disturbing enough. The greater concern is the fact that the majority of the crew and embarked personnel witnessed the videos and never registered and objection or complaint. This is the most disturbing aspect of this investigation – that an atmosphere, environment, or “culture” tolerating such conduct and behavior was allowed to develop, grow and perpetuate over the course of two sets of work-ups and two major deployments. I believe the ENTERPRISE crew was gradually de-sensitized and conditioned to accept a low standard of conduct and behavior by the second most senior officer of the ship’s company to where it became the new acceptable norm. The crew could not be held accountable for a higher standard of conduct than the Executive Officer himself demonstrated.
  6. CAPT Honors believes that he adhered to an acceptable standard by measuring the tone and content of his XO videos against the tone of “significantly more offensive R-rated… professionally-produced feature films” that were sometimes broadcast on ENTERPRISE SITE-TV immediately after his XP videos. CAPT Honors equates the tone and content of his XO videos with “PG-13 adult-level humor,” and he believes such content meets the Navy’s standard.
  7. CAPT Honors is wrong. The U.S. Navy sets a higher standard of conduct and behavior for our officers and enlisted personnel. These standards trace back over 200 years, and are firmly grounded in regulations, custom and traditions. They form the bedrock of our Service and guided everything we do. Conduct that may be acceptable to watch as entertainment when performed by actors and comedians is not the standard of conduct for Sailors while serving in an official capacity. The difference between CAPT Honors’ XO videos and the professionally-produced feature films that contain offensive content is that U.S. Navy service members do not appear in the offensive scenes of Hollywood films. CAPT Honors fails to understand this difference. The fact that over the course of two sets of work-ups and one and a half deployments, he was only “counseled a few times” by his commanding officers served to convince him he was not out of line. Unfortunately for this highly decorated combat veteran, his logic and frame of reference were flawed from the beginning and worsened over time.
  8. CAPT Honors appearance in, production of, and approval of these videos demeaned himself and, more importantly, the position of the Executive Officer. Although the ship’s performance does not appear to have suffered, his conduct was derelict and unbecoming of an officer.
  9. By sponsoring and encouraging the inappropriate content in the videos, and enlisting the help of Public Affairs Officer and members of the Media Department, CAPT Honors fostered a work environment for those same individuals where sophomoric humor became the acceptable norm for the production of the videos.
  10. Sailors not only expect, but deserve their Commanding Officer and Executive Officer to exhibit exemplary conduct and set the standard for virtue, honor, courtesy and tact. As Executive Officer, CAPT Honors placed himself in a position unbecoming his rank and position by appearing as one of the primary “actors” and, in most cases, the central character in the XO videos containing offensive content. He set a poor example for his subordinate officers, crew and embarked personnel. Furthermore, he violated the special trust and confidence placed in him by his Commanding Officers and embarked Strike Group Commanders. In spite of his best intentions, his use in the videos of repeated profanity, anti-gay slurs, simulated masturbation, comments on prostitution, his making fun of department heads in a demeaning way, and repeated use of sexual innuendos to deliver his message to the crew in what he considered an entertaining way was inappropriate and inexcusable.

Below are a few of my thoughts based on other aspects of the report.

1) Perhaps Congress needs to order a study regarding short term memory loss of men over a certain age and nuclear powered aircraft carriers, because there is a surprising amount of short term memory loss regarding the conversations among those of rank at o-6 and above. This issue jumps out when reading the report. I do not believe it has anything to do with nuclear power, and would suggest that perhaps the reasons for selective memory is an aspect of “culture” issues of the Navy being ignored.

2) The findings suggest Flag Officers were largely unaware of the content of the videos. The findings also suggest Commanding Officers were also largely unaware of the content of the videos. The Command JAGs were actually in the videos. Public Affairs was involved in the production of the videos. Several officers and senior enlisted leaders were involved in the videos. The complaints by the Command Chaplain was ignored by the XO, and the Command Chaplain never raised the issue with the Captain or any other senior officer. The videos eventually included an implied threat to those who objected to the content of the videos in the opening remarks. All in all, the lack of official complaints regarding the content of XO Movie Night being objectionable is understandable.

There is an important Navy leadership discussion regarding consent by silence just begging for a discussion, but until that discussion comes from someone inside the Navy, an outsider like me simply highlighting all the examples of existence won’t make a difference.

3) The second recommendation is noteworthy:

It is disturbing to note the continuing remnants of a pervasive culture in Naval Aviation that mistakenly accepts that a certain, extreme level of coarse humor is acceptable and necessary to develop young aviators into effective warriors and community leaders. Over the past two decades, Naval Aviation has been blemished by such behavior. Sincere, focused efforts to correct this stain on the aviation community have not solved the problem. Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific and Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic are currently leading an effort to address these systemic issues within the naval aviation culture. As part of their ongoing effort, I recommend they include a command climate survey that specifically addresses the symptoms identified by this investigation to ensure that a similar “sub-culture” is not manifesting itself within the aviation community and aboard other carriers.

4) A precedent is being set by ignoring the person who leaked the video.

5) This investigation raises a number of questions regarding the promotion process and how the Navy looks at FITREPs for promotion. The number of officers and enlisted personnel involved who were promoted suggests a systemic issue might exist, and unless I missed it, I did not see that issue raised in this report.

I have read a number of opinions, mostly on political websites, that attempt to suggest the Navy investigation somehow got this wrong. I would suggest that anyone defending Captain Honors at this point has not read the report. I believe this issue is about Leadership and Authority in the Navy, and anyone who would like to seek further understanding of what that means, I encourage you to read Leadership and Authority (PDF) by Vice Admiral L. Hewlett Thebaud, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Posted by galrahn in Navy | 25 Comments

The U.S. Naval Institute 2011 Member Ballot included with the April Naval History magazine is invalid,
as it does not include an historic change to the Mission of the Naval Institute that has been recommended
by the Board of Directors. If you voted using this ballot, it will not be counted.

The Member Ballot included with the March issue of Proceedings is correct in that it includes the proposed change
to the USNI mission statement. Please vote/re-vote using this ballot.

Alternately, you may vote online. To do so, you will need to use your Member Number to log in, if you need to locate this number, please call our Member Service Department 800.233.8764 or email [email protected]

Members who only receive Naval History magazine will receive a revised ballot in the mail, which is mailing
the week of 1 March.

We apologize for any confusion and thank you for your continued support.


Thomas L. Wilkerson
Major General, USMC (Ret.)
Chief Executive Officer

Posted by admin in Naval Institute | 7 Comments

In support of Chris’s post, let’s dig at this a bit more.

Via FT; once again, when our prostrate, financially starved, and materially deficient allies say this,

“We must not tolerate this regime using military force against its own people,” David Cameron, UK prime minister, said. “In that context I have asked the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff to work with our allies on plans for a military no-fly zone.”

What they really mean is, “America, will you please do the heavy lifting? We will try to help with what little we have, but be a good sport.”

Want to make this an international effort? I won’t even start to discuss the UN route – as to get to that point is just too difficult and like Darfur, by the time someone can craft a deal, there will be no one to save. Anyway, really?

You can also think NATO, but I think that is off the table already.

… Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey, which has the second largest standing army in Nato, on Tuesday rejected intervention by the western alliance in Libya as “unthinkable”.

“Can you even consider such an absurdity?” Mr Erdogan said at a conference in Germany when asked about calls for Nato to intervene in Libya. “As Turkey, we’re against this, this can’t even be talked about, it’s unthinkable.”

Russia and France also opposed military action, with Paris saying humanitarian aid and cutting off Col Gaddafi’s funding sources should be the priorities.

Once again – NATO devolves to the lowest common denominator, even in their own back yard.

Coalition of the willing it is.

No serious person is talking about putting boots on the ground to engage in ground combat the Libyan rebel forces are more than willing to do – I think the most aggressive thing inside the “possible” bubble is a no-fly zone in Libya (NFZ-L) so Gaddafi’s air force cannot do their will on civilians and rebel forces.

Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman called last week for NATO countries to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent air attacks by Mr Gaddafi on opponents who have wrested control of large parts of the country from him.

According to Colonel David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, US military planners are working on “various contingency plans … [and] repositioning forces to be able to provide for that flexibility once decisions are made”.

Let’s make some initial draft Planning Assumptions (PA) assuming that the CINC directs the establishment of a NFZ-L, here’s my first three:
– PA-1: The ENTERPRISE CSG and KEARSARGE ESG now in the Red Sea successfully transit Suez.
– PA-2: Tanker, AEW, and EW/ES aircraft have full basing rights in Sigonella, Souda Bay, at British bases in Cyprus.
– PA-3: ITA, ESP, and GBR are willing to contribute Navy and Air forces.

Let’s go to the chart, shall we? You can click it for a larger version.

Of those allies with the most pressing concern in the Mediterranean, we already know TUR, and FRA are non-players. GRC? Child please. There goes your most of your Med nations. Who else can help that isn’t already on holiday? GBR, ITA, ESP, with perhaps a dog or cat from other NATO air forces up north may help, but they have very limited reach and a very shallow bench. Even with the USAF, you cannot effect a sustained NFZ-L using ground based aircraft – even if you limited it to the Tripoli and Benghazi. Especially when you can bet a paycheck that ROE will require visual ID and sustained observation of suspect activity; no. Add to that the requirement for CSAR, and no again.

There is only one way to do this: Carrier Aviation. American Carrier Aviation.

One carrier cannot do this alone unless you have very low ambition and expect very little in the way of tasking. You should have one station to the east, one to the west. If you are talking big deck CVN – you really need two to keep one station for any length of time. To keep two stations, four – but if you can get some limited land-based air support for some cycles – maybe get by with three?

Let’s be realistic. We are not going to get four CVN or even three. Two then? I vote no. We’re tapped out.

If you had plenty of support and just a few AAW CAPs up – we could get by with just one … if for only a short time. Hope? Feh, not a plan – so be modest in your ambition.

OK, let’s go to NFZ-L with the Global Maritime Partnership we have, not that we wish we had.

Would we give a station to our allies? Of the remaining folks, GBR, ESP, & ITA have CVS, right? Well, the Brits don’t do CVS counter-air anymore – and the Italians and Spanish carriers? How many sorties can they do? How about if they had a lot of land based fighter support? How many fighter aircraft need to be stationed at Sigonella supported by how many tankers to cover Tripoli? Same question about Souda Bay and Benghazi. The British bases on Cyprus?

UK officials said they could use of a British military air base in Akrotiri, Cyprus to enforce a no-fly mission. “Akrotiri would be very useful if we wanted to deploy,” said an official. “That would seem most logical.”Although fixed-wing aircraft appear to be depleted, British officials said the main concern was that Col Gaddafi could use helicopters to mount bombing raids on opponents.

Thanks, but … look at that transit – tanker and AEW/ES only. That is about the same distance as from Masirah, Oman to Southern Afghanistan.

There is the problem – but we have a solution, the one a lot of smart people are going to try to make work. We will have do a limited NFZ-L with Big E and the KEARSARGE ESG. Not the way it should be done, but good enough for show.

On alert, using limited CAPs and relying on ready aircraft. Our allies may be here and there and will be able to help on the margins – but they have neither the ability or political will to do much more. They have proven over and over that they are less concerned about their backyard than we are – either that are they are just too used to us solving their big problems – and if we don’t – they will just hope for the best.

My guestimates on the back of a notepad are very rough – but probably within a standard deviation. Do them yourself. The tyranny of distance and allied defense budgets are beyond our control but are critical planning factors you cannot get around.

Once you ponder that some, remind yourself and others the importance of a CVN – and use this other little tool in discussions of the utility of CVN. Off Libya soon may be the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65), commissioned on 25 NOV 61 – almost 50 years ago. On the western side of Libya is the former Wheelus Air Force Base. How is that base working out for us?


UPDATE: SECDEF Gates throws some cold water on Prime Minister Cameron, and seems a bit off key with SECSTATE Clinton.

The U.S. and allies have discussed the prospect of imposing a no-fly zone over the North African country to prevent Col. Gadhafi from using air forces to strike at protesters. But Mr. Gates on Wednesday made clear the U.S. military would have to launch pre-emptive strikes to destroy Libya’s air defenses if President Barack Obama ordered the imposition of a no-fly zone,

“Let’s just call a spade a spade,” Mr. Gates said. “A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya.”

Mr. Gates’s words were the strongest public indication of skepticism within the administration about establishing a no-fly zone, especially without broad international support.

In recent days, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken supportively of a no-fly zone. Asked about the apparent contradiction between Mr. Gates’s comments and Mrs. Clinton’s remarks, Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said Wednesday that the no-fly zone is being “actively considered.”

I think SECDEF Gates has reviewed COA-1, COA-2, & COA-3 and realized the risk-reward is just not where it should be. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do something. Right call.

To paraphrase the Great Bismark; Libya is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.

The Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University hosted a small working group on U.S. Space Assets on Monday that focused on resiliency, rules of the road and deterrence. As with many other discussions of American strategy these days, if there was one consensus, it was probably that the status quo and current institutions are woefully insufficient to support and pursue long-term American national interests — in this case, in space.

Much of the debate on Monday would be readily familiar to anyone who has discussed strategy in space recently – problems with the verifiability of many potential or proposed international regimes, the importance of freeing American aerospace industry from the constraints that sap their global competitiveness, the lack of a coherent, long-range national policy, etc. But while much of the agreement and disagreement over what ‘should be’ would might have been readily familiar to those who involved with longstanding debates on the subject, one question stuck out.

The policy, think tank and defense circles in Washington, D.C. in particular can all too quickly devolve into echo chambers where the same old debates only intensify. But an advisor to a key policy maker asked a different question: what is the first step? He wanted to understand not just where the U.S. should be (like the rest of us, he had his opinions on that), but rather what was the first step to getting there? It is a practical questions grounded in the realities of current constraints. Fiscal austerity is now extending into a long-bloated and insufficiently disciplined defense budget. And in an era of fiscal austerity, which programs do we take money from? How do we transition in practical terms to a new paradigm of thinking, requirements and acquisition? Such periods are dangerous for longer-term capabilities of strategic value because entrenched, established interests exert disproportionate influence on budgetary choices.*

In my short time here, perhaps the one theme I have harped upon is the lack of American strategic and grand strategic thinking — specifically the concise, coherent, consistent and efficacious voice that those interests lack in national policy and decision making. This is a point that is perhaps all too easy to raise and all too hard to translate into pragmatic advice for a policy maker. So I open the question up to the readers of this blog: if one were to be limited to a single, concise and salient point, what is the one piece of advice that one would choose to elevate to policymakers as a pragmatic first step to facilitating bureaucratic, institutional, organizational and budgetary change more consistent with American national interests in space? The emphasis here would be on institutional evolution to be both more rapidly responsive and agile and also governed by consistent principals in the long term. These may initially seem like contradictory concepts, but the question that was posed is how do we bring acquisition and decision making into line with timetables consistent with commercial timelines (the Pentagon is far too slow in this regard today – and this is true far beyond the realm of space acquisition and policy) and at the same time have these decisions grounded in consistent, long-term strategic and grand strategic thinking (as was the case with, for example, War Plan Orange)? What is the first step to effecting real change and evolution in the bureaucracy?

*As before, I highly recommend David E. Johnson’s Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers: Innovation in the U.S. Army, 1917-1945 for a historical example of two different potential dangers in the effective management of emerging capabilities: on one hand, neglecting it as the tank was or effectively drinking one’s own kool-aid as was the case on the other hand with the Army Air Corps and strategic bombing.

Ten days after democratic protests erupted in Libya, the country has spiraled into a civil war between the Gaddafi Regime and revolutionaries. The speed of the state’s collapse left many governments unprepared to evacuate their citizens trapped in the country. In addition to numerous private ferries, by my count no less than eight navies have deployed or are prepared to deploy to the Libyan coast. Here is a running tally:

United Kingdom

Cameron, speaking after chairing a meeting of Britain’s National Security Council on the crisis, said six flights had left Libya in the past 24 hours carrying Britons, and a Navy frigate, HMS Cumberland, had evacuated Britons and other foreigners from the port of Benghazi.

Cameron said he had also asked a Navy destroyer, HMS York, “to go into the area to help out as necessary.” He strongly urged Britons still in Libya to leave immediately. [Source]


Three German navy ships were making their way to Libya on Thursday to stand by to evacuate German nationals if needed.


The vessels, which have 600 sailors on board, comprises two frigates and a supply ship, the spokesman said. [Source]


The HNLMS Tromp was on its way to Somalia to take part in NATO’s anti-piracy operation there, but is now expected to arrive off the coast of Libya on Friday. The air defence and command vessel – which left the Dutch navy base at Den Helder just two weeks ago – will now leave the Red Sea and pass through the Suez Canal once again over the next few days as it heads north.

A KDC-10 transport plane of the Royal Dutch Air Force is now due to fly out today to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to evacuate Dutch citizens. [Source]

United States

The U.S. military is moving ships closer to Libya, a Pentagon official said on Monday, as the Obama administration stepped up calls for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down.

“We are moving ships closer to Libya in case they are needed,” said Colonel David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman [Source]

South Korea

Korea urgently dispatched the 4,500-ton Choi Young KDX-II destroyer, which is carrying out anti-piracy duties in the Gulf of Aden, to waters off Libya to support the evacuation of Koreans in the turbulent country, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Thursday. [Source]


Sure enough, last week brought the news that China has dispatched the frigate Xuzhou from off the coast of Somalia to steam to the Libyan coast to help evacuate members of the roughly thirty thousand Chinese citizens in Libya. The move has attracted widespread attention because it was a dramatic demonstration of how the Chinese government intends to use its expanding naval power around the world. [Source]


India is sending three Naval ships to evacuate its citizens from Libya. 18,000 Indians are currently based in Libya, many of them work for construction companies.

Government sources say two destroyers and INS Jalashawa (USS Trenton) will be dispatched from Mumbai in the next few hours. They will take 12 days to reach Libya. [Source]


The Russian Emergencies Ministry plans to engage a Turkish naval ship to provide security for Russians and citizens of other countries who will be evacuated by Saint Stefan ferry from the Libyan port of Ras Lanuf. [Source]

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