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View Full Version : The Naval Buildup North of Libya



kato
07 Mar 11,, 15:07
Currently deployed NATO ships to support operations in Libya:

Ported in Valletta, Malta (including ships currently active in Tunisia):

Mistral (FR), LHD
Tourville (FR), DDG (replaced Georges Leygues as Mistral escort)
Tromp (NL), FFG
Westminster (UK), FFG (replaced York)
Cumberland (UK), FFG
Brandenburg (GE), FFG
Rheinland-Pfalz (GE), FFG
Berlin (GE), AOR
Fenice (IT), FFL (guarding libyan defector ships)
Comandante Bettica (IT), FFL (guarding libyan defector ships)
Kontradmiral X Czernicki (PL), multirole tender/LST, (SNMCMG1)
Datteln (GE), MCMV (SNMCMG1)
Haarlem (NL), MCMV (SNMCMG1)
Brocklesby (UK), MCMV (SNMCMG1)
Narcis (BE), MCMV (SNMCMG1)


Moving in on Valletta during this week (arrival planned before March 15th):

Charlottetown (CA), FFG
Lübeck (GE), FFG (SNMG1, OAE)
Oker (GE), ELINT ship (SNMG1, OAE)
Etna (IT), AOR (SNMG1, OAE)
Esbern Snare (DK), multirole FFG/LST


Ported in Catania, Sicily (only units assigned to Libyan missions):

Francesco Mimbelli (IT), DDG
San Marco (IT), LPD
San Giorgio (IT), LPD


At sea in theater (left Souda, Crete on Saturday):

Kearsarge (US), LHD
Ponce (US), LPD
Scranton (US), SSN


Turkey is additionally shuttling in and out one frigate at a time. TCG Gelibolu was the last to make the run from March 4th to 7th, entering a Turkish port again this morning.

After Noble Mariner 11 will finish on Thursday, there will probably be three Carrier Battle Groups held in alert readiness for deployment (currently two). The Enterprise strike group at Suez (south of the channel), the Charles de Gaulle battle group at Toulon (on 72-hour readiness) and (probably to go on such status) the Principe de Asturias battlegroup at Rota. These three groups would be held in reserve for the case a no-fly zone is decided on.

Kearsarge, Ponce and Mistral carry marines.

AFSOUTH has apparently detached at least one AWACS aircraft to the region under Operation Active Endeavour cover, based out of Malta; Sigonella adds several RQ-4. Italian fighter aircraft are running CAP on the Northern Edge of the theater, 36th Stormo with Eurofighters out of Gioia del Colle and the 37th Stormo with F-16CJ out of Trapani.

Tanker/transport assets are varying a bit from day to day. A rough overview would attribute 3-4 tanker/transport aircraft and 12-14 transport aircraft (Globemasters and Hercules mostly) to the area.

Dreadnought
07 Mar 11,, 15:24
If you notice, "Fido" down there in Venezuala contends the US intends to invade. Obviously he has not read the above list of NATO assests in the area to further prove himself the asshat he already is by ignorance. The US has no such intentions for ground campaigns.

And someone should wake him to the fact that people are getting bombed and shot at on Ghadaffi's orders.

Chavez warns US plans to invade Libya | AlterNet (http://www.alternet.org/rss/breaking_news/509153/chavez_warns_us_plans_to_invade_libya/)

IMO, One Dic trying to protect another Dic.:tongue:

Hmm, somehow I can seem to remember these accusations when the US invaded Iraq.:rolleyes:

Double Edge
07 Mar 11,, 17:51
If you notice, "Fido" down there in Venezuala contends the US intends to invade. Obviously he has not read the above list of NATO assests in the area to further prove himself the asshat he already is by ignorance. The US has no such intentions for ground campaigns.
ok, so what are those ships preparing for then ?

Looks like there's quite a few of them.

1979
07 Mar 11,, 18:48
most of them judging by the recurring FFG are frigates , for a invasion you need more LHD and AOR's.
so probably they are looking for possible illegal immigrants, ITALY was screaming the loudest on that issue.

Dreadnought
07 Mar 11,, 19:24
ok, so what are those ships preparing for then ?

Looks like there's quite a few of them.

For problems just like this one:

(Reuters) - Britain and France said they were seeking U.N. authority for a no-fly zone over Libya, as Muammar Gaddafi's warplanes counter-attacked against rebels and aid officials said a million people were in need.

Rebels swiftly rejected an olive branch offered by an associate of Gaddafi, and fighting escalated around one of the country's key oil ports. The aging autocrat warned that if he fell thousands of refugees would "invade Europe."

With civilians surrounded by forces loyal to Gaddafi in two towns, Misrata and Zawiyah, in the western part of Libya, fears were growing of a rising humanitarian crisis inside the country if the fighting was not stopped.

"We are working closely with partners on a contingency basis on elements of a resolution on a no-fly zone, making clear the need for regional support, a clear trigger for such a resolution and an appropriate legal basis," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday.

A French diplomatic source said France was "working with our partners in New York on a no-fly zone resolution."

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, visiting Afghanistan where foreign forces have been fighting for a decade, cautioned any action in Libya "should be the result of international sanction." The White House said all options were on the table, including arming rebels.

Russia, a key permanent member of the U.N. Security Council with veto powers, said it opposed foreign military intervention. "The Libyans have to solve their problems by themselves," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stressed the need for UN authorization. "I can't imagine the international community and the United Nations would stand idly by if Gaddafi and his regime continue to attack their own people," he said.

"We have asked our military to conduct all necessary planning so that we stand ready at short notice," he added.

A no-fly zone would not be just a technicality. The first step would probably be bombing of Libyan air defenses, but Western leaders are anxious to avoid another drawn-out military commitment in the wake of the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Swiss-based exile group Libyan Human Rights Solidarity said forces loyal to Gaddafi had launched a new attempt to capture Zawiyah, a rebel-held town 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital.

It was impossible to verify the report because residents in the town were no longer reachable by phone.

CITY UNDER SIEGE

In the rebel-held city of Misrata, the wounded were being treated on hospital floors because of a catastrophic shortage of medical facilities in the besieged city, a resident said.

Misrata is the biggest city in the west not under the control of Gaddafi, and its stand against a militia commanded by his own son has turned it into a symbol of defiance.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/07/us-libya-protests-idUSTRE71G0A620110307?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FworldNews+%28News+% 2F+US+%2F+International%29

Double Edge
07 Mar 11,, 22:11
Are you suggesting its in preparation for a no fly zone ?

If the Russian's are against then how will it pass in the UNSC ?

There is no unilateral argument here as no country is threatened directly by what is going on in Libya. Therefore it has to be a mutilateral move and the UN is required for this.

Humanitarian assistance does not need so many warships or does it, couldn' merchant navy handle that. Small boats to & fro for resupply to the coast.

1979's answer has merit.

kato
07 Mar 11,, 22:57
most of them judging by the recurring FFG are frigates, for a invasion you need more LHD and AOR's.
Actually, you can group it quite well right now:

There are:
- three separate amphibious groups in theater (Mistral with escort DDG; the Italian LPDs with escort DDG; the US units without escort)
- a virtual surface/ASW warfare group of standard NATO SNMG layout (1 AAW, 4-5 ASW, 1 AOR) consisting of the five frigates and Berlin
- a standing mine warfare group (SNMCMG1) with 4 minehunters and a tender
- a SSN with VLS Tomahawks to provide some strike capability (and probably more subs, i suspect that e.g. the French SSN Amethyste is in the region)

The incoming SNMG1 group will additionally provide a separate wide-range sea surveillance group to control any civilian or other sea traffic in the area.

The two reserve CSGs in Suez and Toulon would bring in 75 fighter aircraft (54 Hornets, 9 Rafale, 12 SEM) plus support aircraft if a no-fly zone is decided on. While Kearsarge doesn't have Harriers embarked, the Principe de Asturias CSG could bring in such capability.

The currently deployed amphibious (and air transport) units in theater isn't anything to scoff at really. Within a 24-hour timeframe, these units could conceivably land two brigade-strength marine and airborne units in Libya, more than either Gaddafi or the rebels can concentrate anywhere - even with more preparation.


Are you suggesting its in preparation for a no fly zone ?
The orders for the Charles de Gaulle CSG are explicitly for that case.

kato
08 Mar 11,, 01:07
PS: Add Italian OPV P402 Libra to above list.

It should be noted that the above list does not account for ships north of Sicily. These include in particular e.g. SSGN-728 Florida located in Naples.

Dago
08 Mar 11,, 01:13
Whats a good source on deployments? I tried searching through news articles, but haven't found out much information. I was just wondering, if you look have first hand knowledge, or know people, deployed. Just wondering how you accumulated all this knowledge. :)

Dreadnought
08 Mar 11,, 01:20
Are you suggesting its in preparation for a no fly zone ?

If the Russian's are against then how will it pass in the UNSC ?

There is no unilateral argument here as no country is threatened directly by what is going on in Libya. Therefore it has to be a mutilateral move and the UN is required for this.

Humanitarian assistance does not need so many warships or does it, couldn' merchant navy handle that. Small boats to & fro for resupply to the coast.

1979's answer has merit.

*Humanitarian aid needs helos and plenty of deck space. The Kearsarge not only carries about 40 helo's aboard, but between the Kearsarge and the Ponce you just improved both your critical time injury rates and operating facilities at the very least. The other carriers that are there or can be there quickly can process medical faster and with far greater capacity then any of those nations Frigates or other ships. When it comes to medical, nothing beats the carriers (any countries) and their facilities and their landing decks would greatly reduce the time it takes to both transfer or treat wounded.

Many see the carriers and other ships like LPD's as assult ships. They are. But no other ships can match their facilities, deck space or airtraffic direction or deployment in a crisis outside of a hospital ship and it would also take that Hospital ship longer to get there.
I would also venture into saying that their water treatment plants capabilities aboard are far larger meaning more capacity then any of the rest of those ships on the entire list.

If you notice the US ships came without escort.

kato
08 Mar 11,, 01:46
Whats a good source on deployments? I tried searching through news articles, but haven't found out much information.
Most of it comes from two sources:
- Marineforum (http://www.marineforum.info/index.html) (German site; current deployment info in English, see "Daily News")
- Meretmarine (meretmarine.com/) (French site; there's an English section, but it's far less complete)

There's some other sources mixed in as well, usually following up news reports or port call announce sites, i.e. in particular Seawaves (http://www.seawaves.com/portvisits.asp) (which is of course a bit unreliable with fleets being shifted).


The Kearsarge not only carries about 40 helo's aboard
33 helos and 9 MV-22, offhand.

Regarding medical, yeah, Kearsarge does vastly increase capacity. Other than her 600-bed onboard hospital, the only other major facilities afloat in theater are the 150-bed MERZ aboard Berlin and the 150-bed hospital aboard Mistral. The Ponce doesn't have any serious medical facilities of a similar capability.


If you notice the US ships came without escort.
The reason for that would be that the Enterprise only has a single CG along too (and Kearsarge and Ponce were attached to her CSG). Enterprise's other escorts are detached to CTF 151.

Dreadnought
08 Mar 11,, 01:56
33 helos and 9 MV-22, offhand.

Regarding medical, yeah, Kearsarge does vastly increase capacity. Other than her 600-bed onboard hospital, the only other major facilities afloat in theater are the 150-bed MERZ aboard Berlin and the 150-bed hospital aboard Mistral. The Ponce doesn't have any serious medical facilities of a similar capability.


Originally Posted by Dreadnought
If you notice the US ships came without escort.
The reason for that would be that the Enterprise only has a single CG along too (and Kearsarge and Ponce were attached to her CSG). Enterprise's other escorts are detached to CTF 151.


Agreed

*Ponce is also carrying two CH-46/CH-53 or four UH-1/AH-1, or two AV-8B Harriers as well as facilities medical and water treatment for carrying her crew of 481 minus Officers and space for 850 enlisted not counting the Officers. Watercraft as well since she has a large wet well. Every little bit helps in a case such as this one would believe.

*What I meant was they do have an escort but more then likely under the waves and not Enterprises underwater escort. Probably one that was already in the Med before they got there.

kato
08 Mar 11,, 02:21
In my opinion, the Scranton was moved into theater to have some immediate strike capability if really necessary, not as an escort. She's a VLS-equipped Los Angeles. The Florida will definitely not just go and fire its Tomahawks across Sicily, so having some reaction strike capability is apt.
Regarding subs, there are bound to be more in theater anyway. There's one sub rather blatantly missing from Noble Mariner 11 for example - don't know which, but i highly suspect it's the French SSN Saphir. ;)

The frigate group, dispersed as it is, in combination with the AWACS plane out of Malta, has enough surveillance capability to cover against any possible Libyan Navy suicide runs against the capital units. Once SNMG1 with Oker and its strategic sea surveillance system arrives even more so. And the frigate group also has some serious firepower btw.

Dreadnought
08 Mar 11,, 05:46
In my opinion, the Scranton was moved into theater to have some immediate strike capability if really necessary, not as an escort. She's a VLS-equipped Los Angeles. The Florida will definitely not just go and fire its Tomahawks across Sicily, so having some reaction strike capability is apt.
Regarding subs, there are bound to be more in theater anyway. There's one sub rather blatantly missing from Noble Mariner 11 for example - don't know which, but i highly suspect it's the French SSN Saphir. ;)

The frigate group, dispersed as it is, in combination with the AWACS plane out of Malta, has enough surveillance capability to cover against any possible Libyan Navy suicide runs against the capital units. Once SNMG1 with Oker and its strategic sea surveillance system arrives even more so. And the frigate group also has some serious firepower btw.

*It came across the wire not long ago tonight that now AWACS will be on 24 hour coverage/surveilance. It was on the news this evening.

1979
08 Mar 11,, 06:08
Actually, you can group it quite well right now:

There are:
- three separate amphibious groups in theater (Mistral with escort DDG; the Italian LPDs with escort DDG; the US units without escort)
- a virtual surface/ASW warfare group of standard NATO SNMG layout (1 AAW, 4-5 ASW, 1 AOR) consisting of the five frigates and Berlin
- a standing mine warfare group (SNMCMG1) with 4 minehunters and a tender
- a SSN with VLS Tomahawks to provide some strike capability (and probably more subs, i suspect that e.g. the French SSN Amethyste is in the region)

The incoming SNMG1 group will additionally provide a separate wide-range sea surveillance group to control any civilian or other sea traffic in the area.

The two reserve CSGs in Suez and Toulon would bring in 75 fighter aircraft (54 Hornets, 9 Rafale, 12 SEM) plus support aircraft if a no-fly zone is decided on. While Kearsarge doesn't have Harriers embarked, the Principe de Asturias CSG could bring in such capability.

The currently deployed amphibious (and air transport) units in theater isn't anything to scoff at really. Within a 24-hour timeframe, these units could conceivably land two brigade-strength marine and airborne units in Libya, more than either Gaddafi or the rebels can concentrate anywhere - even with more preparation.


until the first brigade secures a LZ they are on there own.
I will not comment on the capabilities of one brigade, sufice yo say that the naval build up you presented is combat heavy but light on auxiliary supply ships.

kato
08 Mar 11,, 09:52
auxiliary supply ships
MCCE can easily rent a couple dozen civilian cargo ships for the effort within 2-3 days.

kato
08 Mar 11,, 11:23
Ships with US 6th Fleet that are not part of above lineup:

LCC Mount Whitney (6th Fleet Command Ship) - in Naples
DDG USS Stout (CO relieved, replaced by CO TF65) - in Naples
SSGN USS Florida - in Naples
AO USS Kanawha - part of Noble Mariner 11 in Spain
DDG USS Barry - position unknown, "Southwest Mediterranean"; not with the amphibs though

Italy has added P402 Libra, a Cassiopeia-class OPV, to the Libya-assigned units.

France is moving the ELINT/EW ship Dupuy de Lome to Toulon. This is generally suggested to be in suggestion with a possible deployment to Libya.