Admiral: Navy Task Force Ready for Any Contingency in Lebanon

Wednesday, July 19, 2006
While U.S. authorities in Cyprus are expecting to evacuate at least 5,000 Americans from Lebanon, they are preparing for any contingency, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said July 18. Vice Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, who also commands the U.S. 5th Fleet, briefed Pentagon reporters from his headquarters in Bahrain. Nine U.S. Navy ships are converging on Lebanon from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and from U.S. European Command. The European Command ships are arriving in the "joint operating area" already, Walsh said. The CENTCOM ships are expected over the next few days. DoD also has contracted with the Greek-flagged Orient Queen to evacuate Americans from the Lebanese capital. The ship is pierside in Beirut, Walsh said, and it will take on passengers overnight and leave for Cyprus in the morning. He said he anticipates the vessel will carry between 800 and 1,000 Americans to safety.

The admiral said two more ships will be part of the ferrying activity between Beirut and Cyprus. The Rahmah will arrive in Cyrus tomorrow and begin ferrying refugees shortly thereafter. That vessel has a capacity of around 1,400. The trip to Cyprus from Beirut lasts about five hours, DoD officials said. The United States also is working with European nations that are evacuating their nationals from Lebanon. Walsh said Navy ships from the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy are operating in the waters off Lebanon. He said the non-combatant evacuation process "is a complex operation that involves an extraordinary level of effort."

"We're sending the very best we have, and we will move at max speed," he added. The admiral said he expects U.S. Navy vessels, especially large-capacity amphibious ships, to participate in the evacuation. Amphibious ships are designed to conduct beach landings. They're frequently used for humanitarian operations and disaster relief. Right now, the threat level in Beirut allows the Navy to ferry Americans to Cyprus with the commercial vessels. "But part of our job is to plan for any contingency," he said. "We will have warships positioned strategically and tactically to ensure the safe and secure passage of Americans from Lebanon to Cyprus."

Naval Forces Central Command is prepared for any contingency and ready for operations over an extended period of time, Walsh said. Walsh said using amphibious ships will allow officials to move the evacuation process to the north or south and provide more options for evacuating people if the situation at the port deteriorates. Pentagon officials said the amphibious capability would allow the task force to evacuate people across the beach if needed.

"We have a changing situation (in Lebanon)," Walsh said. "We have a very complex environment that we're about to put a substantial number more of American citizens into, and the security and safety of those people are paramount to us and that's our No. 1 mission." Source: NavNews

By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Rowan Viking Rig Upgrade Completed

Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen, part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, has completed the upgrade of a Keppel Fels ‘N’ Class drilling rig, one of the largest in the North Sea,

Halliburton to Settle US Gulf Spill Claims for $1.1b

Halliburton Co said it reached a $1.1 billion settlement for a majority of claims against the company for its role in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

RDS Wins Engineering and Design Contract for Sea Lion

Rig design and engineering specialist RDS has been awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by AMEC for Premier Oil’s Sea Lion development in the North Falklands Basin.

Navy

Navy Unmanned Aircraft Sets the Bar

The Navy's X-47B unmanned aircraft has completed its final test aboard 'USS Theodore Roosevelt' (CVN 71) and has returned to its home base at Naval Air Station Patuxent River after eight days at sea
,

RIMPAC Exercise Puts LCS Through Paces

It was the middle of May, and the littoral combat ship Independence was operating out of San Diego, testing components of the mine warfare mission package. The mission is one that,

DoD Award Dredging, Ship Maintenance, Charter Contracts

US Department of Defense informs of placement of contracts for Chesapeake Bay dredging, dry-docking of USS Pearl Harbor, and charter of surface escort vessels. Details as follows: 1.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1319 sec (8 req/sec)