There has been some concern over whether or not U.S. troops will be putting their boots on Libyan soil. This article gives some indication that we are close to doing so...
Marines are involved in support operations for the town of Ajdubiyah, Libya.
They are also involved in rescue operations...such as rescue for their own marines who crashed an F-15 Strike Eagle due to "malfunction" while on a mission in Libya.
I guess we will see if U.S. troops end up engaging on the ground. Right now we are right on the cusp of that possibility.
The Strong Watchman
Original Article at: http://www.wcti12.com/news/27282287/detail.html
ONSLOW COUNTY -- A U.S. fighter jet crashed in Libya after an apparent equipment malfunction but both crew members were able to eject and were back in American hands with only minor injuries, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The F-15E Strike Eagle jet was conducting a mission Monday night against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses when it crashed at 2130 GMT (5:30 p.m. EDT), said Lt. Cmdr. Karin Burzynski, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Africa Command.
Officials from Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station said the US military used an Osprey and a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from 26th MEU to recover the aircraft and the pilots. This tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel mission is called "TRAP" for short.
Lejeune Marines rescued one pilot. Anti-Gadhafi forces rescued the other and then returned that pilot to the 26th MEU.
One pilot is in good condition, the condition of the other is unknown; they both suffered minor injuries.
While spokespeople for Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station could not comment on any civilian casualites from this mission, a release from the 26th MEU noted: "United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973 authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi regime forces."
*NewsChannel 12's Carly Swain and John Swartz contributed to this report.
Original Article at: http://www.wcti12.com/news/27257042/detail.html
ONSLOW COUNTY -- We've seen Camp Lejuene Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan and now they are joining the fight against Libya.
About 2,200 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will take part in support operations based aboard USS Kearsarge at sea. Those support operations have thus far included air strikes and one rescue operation. The overall mission is to help end the violence directed at the Libyan people.
"In Libya right now they are doing exactly what we need them to do. They are doing what they are told and right now that's protecting Libyan people against Qadhafi forces," said Captain Timothy Patrick, a Marine with the 26th MEU.
UPDATE: Conditions set forth by the U.N. Security Council towards resolving the unrest in Libya included the removal of Libyan Leader Muammar al-Qadhafi’s forces from Ajdubiyah. These latest strikes by the MEU aimed at preserving the sanctity of the city and the safety of the civilians within it. In an effort to safeguard the Libyan populace and infrastructure in and around the city of Ajdabiyah from further attacks by regime forces, 26th MEU, as part of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, launched a second round of strikes by AV-8B Harrier jump jets.
“Our primary concern was ensuring the people inside Ajdubiyah were safe from Qadhafi’s artillery and tanks,” said Col. Mark J. Desens, commanding officer of 26th MEU. “Everything we are seeing following these strikes indicates that his forces are now less capable of threatening the town than before.”
A Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit's AV-8B Harrier jump jet returns to USS Kearsarge for fuel and ammunition resupply while conducting air strikes in support of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, March 20, 2011. Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973. UNSCR 1973 authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi regime forces. JTF Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III
Patrick said that Marines from the 26th MEU are coming on the end of their deployment. They will be replaced with Marines from the 22nd MEU.
A press release from the 26th MEU reads, in part:
"Protecting the innocent and conducting combined operations are what we are designed to do, our forces are doing both as part of the U.S commitment to protect Libyan citizens."