Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Number three

Fresno Bee:

Among the first service members to feel the effects of President Bush's much-debated plan for a troop surge in Iraq are hundreds of sailors from Lemoore Naval Air Station.

Some 360 of them flew out of the base late Thursday to rendezvous with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which will return to sea earlier than scheduled as part of a worldwide redeployment of forces resulting from the president's decision.

Among those whose time with family was cut short was Christian Gibbs, a member of the VFA-25 strike fighter squadron.

He had been home only six months and was expecting to spend more time with his wife and two young children.

...Gibbs was stationed on the Reagan's maiden six-month voyage, which ended in July. "It's pretty sudden," said Gibbs about this latest deployment.

Usually, sailors have months to prepare for a deployment and spend more than a year at home before being asked to go to sea again, Gibbs said.

...The Reagan's rapid deployment is part of the Fleet Response Plan, which the Navy says will provide the military with the ability to respond to any global commitment on short notice.

"We just found out about two weeks ago," David Pepper said about his deployment. "It was kind of a shock."

...While the Reagan is scheduled to tour the western Pacific, destinations for aircraft carriers can change rapidly, McGrath said.

The Stennis is headed to the Persian Gulf and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is near the African coast, he said.

"They go wherever they're needed," McGrath said. "The world situation could change."
For chrissake. A third carrier group!? How fucking obvious do you have to be? We are soooo screwed.

Related stuff:

* What if Iran Suspends? A Western Dilemma
* Untruth and Consequences: The Reality Behind Iran War Rhetoric
* America ‘poised to strike at Iran’s nuclear sites’ from bases in Bulgaria and Romania

(via, indirectly)