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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Our Chips are in the Middle of the Table with Iran

The aircraft carrier USS Teddy Roosevelt (CVN 71) and its battle group are now shadowing an Iranian convoy approaching Yemen. It is believed that the Iranians are carrying weapons for the Houthis, rebel fighters supported by Iran.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, or "TR" and "the Big Stick" as it's known to its crew and the Navy, has been launching F/A-18 Hornets for "manned reconnaissance" of the Iranian convoy. It appears that it consists of 9 ships.

The situation is tricky, as the Obama administration is trying to give Iran almost everything under the sun to close the nuclear deal (which will likely give Iran a nuclear weapon) and the US engages in a proxy war along with its allies against Iran. 

But when has Obama ever stood up for our allies?

Navy officials confirmed that the USS Roosevelt along with the full battle group vessels has been dispatched to the Arabian Sea in order to enforce a blockade of Iranian weapons.

The Iranian convoy consists of a mix of freighters thought to be carrying the weapons, and a few warships.

Our Navy battle group consists of:

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is a Nimitz-class carrier carrying about 90 warplanes and helicopters. It can go over 30 knots when pissed off or carrying out flight operations. The Big Stick first saw action in 1991 in Operation Desert Storm.

USS Normandy (CG 60) is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser with naval guns, anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine. It also has 2 helicopters on board.

USS New York (LPD-21) is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock or Landing Platform Dock. It transports and lands 800 very angry United States Marines at a speed of about 22 plus knots.

USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship named after the fort that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner. It carries 402 United States Marines and if needed for a surge, an additional 102. Try stopping them, Iran.

USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer of the badass variety. Winnie's is fitted with the Mark 45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System, which have longer barrels to allow for complete propellant combustion. This kicks out the round faster and further making it new and improved over anything the Iranians have. Even its gun house is designed to reduce its radar signature, kind of like the B-1 Bomber. Its motto is: "In war: Resolution; in peace: Good Will." It can go above 30 knots.

USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) like the USS Winston S. Churchill, is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer launched on October 2, 2004. Her motto is: "Relentless fighting spirit."

USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship named after the famous WW2 battle where Pfc. Jacklyn H. Lucas USMC was awarded the Medal of Honor. Lucas placed his Medal of Honor citation in the hull of the ship, where it remains today. The ship's motto is: "Uncommon Valor."

USS Sentry (MCM-3) and USS Dextrous (MCM-13) are both Mine Counter Measure ships, just in case Iran has any bright ideas of trying to counter our Navy battle group.

If Iran's convoy needs to be stopped because of their ambition to arm the Houthis, this group can do it. Iran is good at blowing up fake US Navy ships, but I believe these babies will get them to think twice before trying anything as foolish as starting a shooting war. They don't need it and we don't want it to get to that point.

While it's uncertain how far we would go to enforce the embargo, the Navy conducts consensual boardings when necessary. Thus far, it hasn't been needed, but it remains to be seen what Iran's next step is going to be. Unfortunately, we have a president who has just made it clear that he is unclear as to what he might do at this point. He is reluctant to take the next step now that he put all our chips in the middle of the table.