U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Colbey Livingston.
As Friday the 13th drew to a close at the Pentagon, the excitement surrounding the possibility of U.S. military strikes against Syria enjoyed a post-coital smoke and went to sleep early.
Five days after President Trump vowed swift justice for an April 7 chemical weapons attack in Syria, cable news had given up waiting for something to happen and moved onto treating former FBI Director James Comey’s book about President Trump as the biggest news since Jesus rose from the dead.
A blip appeared on the Countdown to War Horizon when the New York Post reported Friday that an “armada” of 12 Navy ships was steaming toward the Middle East, representing “the largest US strike force since the 2003 Iraq war.”
Pentagon officials pointed out there are a few issues with the story. Firstly, the U.S. Navy does not have “armadas.” There is no armada forces command. There are no Armada Warfare Officers. The 6th Fleet is not responsible for converting the British to Catholicism. Most importantly, there is no “armada duty service ribbon” or associated special pay for armada deployments.
Although the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group with six U.S. ships and a German frigate left Norfolk, Virginia, on April 11, the deployment had been planned long before the chemical weapons attack and was not a result of the recent events in Syria, Navy officials told Task & Purpose.
The number of ships taking part in the strike group is standard for a routine, planned deployment, said Navy spokeswoman Lt. Liza Dougherty, who is presumably current on her armada quals.
Also, until humanity comes up with a matter transporter a la Star Trek: The Next Generation, U.S. military forces will continue to be subject to the tyranny of time and distance, so the Truman Carrier Strike Group is not expected to be anywhere near Syria for about a week.
The destroyer USS Donald Cook is in the Mediterranean – although not parked off the Syrian coast, as CNN Turk erroneously reported – and another destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill entered the 6th Fleet theater of operations on April 10.
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)
NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.
Russian President Vladimir Putin fires a fortress cannon. (Associated Press/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin)
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.
He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing walk to waiting family members and friends after stepping off of a C-130J Super Hercules at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 17, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)
The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.