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.
I don’t pretend to be a military expect but what non-combat role will 2200 marines be doing aboard the Kearsarge at sea that couldn’t be done by the sailors on the ship. It’s not like the Kearsarge is going to be boarding the CSS Alabama anytime soon.
One suspects that US ground forces will have to become engaged if anything solid is to happen in NATO’s engagement in Libya. And it seems like Obama is warming us up for that yet.
and as Dan Riehl points out, the Kearsarge is an amphibious assault ship, if they aren’t going to be boots on the ground in Libya, just what are they going to be assaulting? According to Gates they are for “options and contingencies,”.
Apparently president Obama’s definition of “boots on the ground” is similar to a few of my friends who insist that this is “not a war”.
It will be very interesting to see what happens once this gets into the MSM.