Euro-BMD ships will get full range of missions

Euro-BMD ships will get full range of missions

The four U.S. destroyers to be forward-deployed to Rota, Spain will take the full spectrum of tasking in addition to their primary mission of ballistic missile defense for the Continent, the top U.S. commander there said Wednesday.

Adm James Stavridis told the House Armed Services Committee that the ships would work as much for his fellow witness, Africa Command boss Gen. Carter Ham, as they would for EuCom. He said they could fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, continue the Navy’s trend of partnering with African navies, and do exercises and port visits in the Mediterranean.

Stavridis’ characterization means several things: The ships will deploy with their full crews and complements of weapons and gear, not skeleton crews and only  interceptor missiles. It means that some or most of their time underway will not be spent steaming in a box with the radars energized, looking for a launch. Instead these crews will theoretically become experts in the Med and African waters the way the Army wants its brigades to develop “regional alignment” with specific slices of the map.

The details emerged amid questions from Virginia Rep. Rob Wittman, who sounded perfectly sanguine about the planned deployments, even though they’ll involve three Norfolk ships and one from Naval Station Mayport, Fla. For as much as Virginia and Florida have battled over the disposition of ships between the two of them, both delegations have so far been silent over losing the destroyers to Spain — maybe because it’s still so far off they don’t take it seriously. When the Navy actually requests funding to move the ships, crews and families, however, it may kick up a little more dust.

A few lawmakers are already irked with the amounts of money the U.S. will continue to spend on Europe. Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman asked Stavridis how many American troops would remain on the Continent after commanders withdraw about 12,000, as now envisioned. That would leave about 68,000, he was told. We should look at taking them all out, Coffman said — is there a NATO treaty requirement that Americans be based in Europe? No there is not, Stavridis answered, although he supports the relationships and strategic value of having a presence there.

HASC Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon also questioned the ongoing U.S. priorities toward Europe in his opening statement.

“I’m worried about the decisions being made for the ‘sake of efficiencies and budget’ that change our force posture in Europe but neglect our commitment to regional allies and stability,” he said. “I also want to highlight my continuing concerns about President Obama’s missile defense strategy. It appears the United States is spending $4 on regional missile defense, like the European Phased Adaptive Approach, for every $1 it is spending on homeland defense. What’s more, European missile defense will be a ‘national contribution’ to NATO, meaning the cost will be borne entirely by the U.S. at a time when most of NATO is failing to meet even the 2% of GDP threshold for NATO membership.”

Depending on the way you measure it, as few as four NATO members and as many as eight — of 28 nations — are meeting their commitments to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense, Stavridis said. He told lawmakers he tells the Euro-allies every chance he gets that they need to step it up, because there’s no guarantee for how much longer the U.S. can backstop the alliance.

That messaging is popular in Washington, but don’t look for it to sink in — the best case for Europe’s economy in the near term is a weak recession. With an earth-shaking worst case, and an international scramble for the exits in Afghanistan, the U.S. may have to count itself lucky if NATO even maintains its status quo.

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I think Mr. Whittman, if not the whole Virginia delegation, are ok with the forward deployment of DDGs. The difference between a DDG crew (or 3) and a CVN is so large there just isn’t any percentage in fighting this when they are already winning the fight vs Mayport. No one has made a stink about losing an ARG to Mayport since it (seemingly) ended the CVN relocation fight.

I’m also sure the fact that this is a worthwhile forward deployment (vs just putting an Aegis ashore rig on a ship) it’s less likely to garner too much fuss. The VA delegation is smart enough to know that saving steaming/maintenance time on Med deployments is good for for surface fleet forces…which is good for the Navy and thus good for Virginia.

Finally some of these congressmen are starting to show concern for the money we are planning on spending on european missile defense. Why are not the europeans contributing to paying for this?

The Europeans are paying for parts of the system. Some potentially could field SM missiles on their ships as well, the Dutch and Germans. France and the UK have the Aster missiles and are looking at how to integrate them into the system as well. Various other layers of the system will involve Patriot batteries, potentially MEADs (if it happens), and eventually land based SMs.

From Nov 2011

“During the German-led live fire in Crete, the Alliance’s interim theatre missile defence command and control capability was used by NATO commanders to plan, coordinate and carry out missile defence engagements. Shooters included the German Patriot batteries assisted by the U.S. AEGIS destroyer the ‘USS The Sullivans’ (DDG-68) engaging live ballistic missile targets. NATO elements included Allied Air Command Ramstein, Combined Air Operations Centre Uedem and Air Component Command Izmir.

The exercise also demonstrated the ability of the NATO system to interface and exchange date with the systems that will soon contribute to the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach.”

Just who/ what exactly are we defending against?

A valid question but it lacks chronology. The decisions to field this capability were made years before the current situation was unfolding in the middle east. Now we are faced with either the Arab spring pigeon holing the Iranian regime and sanctions crushing them economically, or a shooting war that will end them militarily. Neither option was expected ten odd years ago when BMD was first being discussed and deployed.

The fact it was still considered and deployed by the Obama admin pretty much points out we had no intention of using those “options on the table” if sanctions didn’t work. We were obviously going to say uncle and pursue a containment policy. Now over the last year the dynamics in the middle east have changed quite a bit. The next few months are going to be very interesting.

My comment started off as a joke more than anything, because until you typed it, “Iran” was nowhere to be found on this page.

The question of “why Iran now” has me bothered, because I look into it and find a whole lot of nothing there, other than neocons, Israel, and the TV. We can flatten the Iranians any time. There’s no compelling reason, such as an imminent threat to our country, to do anything about it yet.

Against the Europeans of course. We need to have something there to remind them we are still around as the rest of our military retreats.

My post was deleated? I dont know why.

They prefer euphemisms like “rogue regimes”. This is an option we are ‘leaving on the table’.

Depending on how this issue plays out with Iran this year might potentially determine whether an ABM capacity is needed in Europe at all. I’d say its pretty even odds of Iran collapsing, things staying exactly the same, or a shooting war breaking out. I don’t think things would stay the same for long, because those sanctions over time are probably going to really screw their economy badly, the question is will it be fast enough to keep the Israelis from taking some action.

I think if the Israelis like getting our aid so much, they ought to start singing our tune for a change. They aren’t under any imminent threat from Iran either. Look into the allegations about the nuclear weapon program, or the Saudi ambassador plot; awfully thin soup there. There is no reason to push this matter to a head now, except domestic political stuff.

To bring things back on topic, these BMD ships are not a bad idea so long as they work as advertised. But keeping them forward-deployed in the Med seems a little extreme.

The nuclear weapons program is there. There is alot of dancing around the issue but the Iranians are moving on a program to develop nukes. I don’ t think it would be terribly wise to allow an adversary to get to the point of posing an imminent threat, l highly doubt the Israelis want to live through their own Cuban missile crisis.

I’m finding my comments are being deleted as I submit them. Hopefully this is only a glitch.

You’re free to believe what you like, but stay skeptical, as I am about my own opinions. I’ll leave it there.


Read annexes C5 though C12. They are working on the bomb.

You forget, the U.S. is the greatest benefit of FMS sales to Israel and aid to Egypt. Otherwise the U.S. would have no influence to keep the two from shooting at each other thus causing the Suez canal and red sea to be a dangerous area and for global oil prices to rise. The U.S. is paying them both to play nice so it can get low oil prices.

So I would caution the use of the word “aid” in the fact that the U.S. is the greatest benefactor from this arrangement.

That is the IAEA report that attempted to paint a Ukrainian PhD expert in the production of nanodiamonds as a nuclear weapon scientist. That was a lie, and best speculation has that lie originating in an Israeli (“a Member State”) mouth. That wasn’t the only problem with that report. IAEA didn’t check their facts very well.

I believe the Iranians are probably going to walk right up to the weaponization threshold, so that they can jump across if/ when the political climate is right. But why should we attack them for that?

All of that is up in the air. The Egyptians have got more trouble coming, because the Islamists and the Military are going to have to settle who gets to rule.

You aren’t wrong, but that may be irrelevant. Times are changing.

That’s kind of the point isn’t it, you can’t check facts when where you need to go to clear things up the Iranians won’t give you access.

Why should we attack them before they get the bomb? That’s so cavalier it is almost not worth answering. 30 years of rhetoric backed and followed up by actions, that’s why. They have followed though on or attempted to on every single threat they have made. So when they talk about wiping nations off that map to take them at less than their word is foolhardy.

So I gather you’ve looked into that threat to “wipe Israel off the map,” right? And you’re sure that translation was accurate? I’m not a Farsi speaker, so don’t take my word for it, but I’m encouraging you to look around, please.

Starting another war we don’t need to fight is the definition of “cavalier.”

I gather you’ve looked into that threat to “wipe Israel off the map,” right? And you believe that translation is accurate? I’m not a Farsi speaker, so don’t take my word for it, but please do some research.

Starting another needless war is the definition of cavalier.

The site is eating posts. I’ll respond eventually.

I wouldn’t worry about it, at the end of the day what you and l think is irrelevant. I also think it has progressed to the point what Team Obama thinks is irrelevant also. I think the Israelis are driving the bus now. These sanctions better be johnny on the spot effective or Obama is going to have to get a whole lot more forceful in his rhetoric or l imagine the Israelis will make the decision for everyone.

We can agree to disagree, but if it comes to killing people, we had better make the right choice. Be careful about your sources, there’s a lot of disinformation going on.

The Egyptian military is (for the moment) firmly under U.S. control. All the top officers were either trained in or relate to the U.S. and the top equipment is all U.S. that can only be used in very certain conditions.

Then again, the U.S. hasn’t been very reliable as of late…

So why aren’t we bombing Israel — they repeatedly destabilize the middle east are serial human rights abusers and they never do what we want. Are we so scared of them that we have to pay them off ?

The Israelis are “serial human rights abusers”? That’s too funny, or would be if it wasn’t such a sad reflection of the serial stupidity so often displayed by the anti-Israel crowd.

I challenge any of them to show me the record of one Arab nation that gives its Arab citizens the range of human rights and legal protections that Israel does.

Oh, and one more good reason why Americans aren’t bombing Israel is because America doesn’t like seeing its bombers and crews turned into smoking holes in the ground…

Because this site and its over-zealous, indiscriminate censor-bot suck?

I don’t talk with trolls.

I agree about lack of information, but again that’s the problem isn’t it? Iran isn’t wanting to grant access to places and people that could offer clarity.

re:“The Egyptian military is (for the moment) firmly under U.S. control.”

–I don’t agree to that, as far as I understand the situation. They are their own people, no matter who trained them.

re:”…the U.S. hasn’t been very reliable as of late…”

–I absolutely agree about that.

No, not lack of information, disinformation! For example; that quote about “wipe them off the map” that everyone throws around is an intentional mistranslation. So you’re taking them “at their word” for something they never said nor implied.

We know enough about the disposition of their material to know they’ve got a lot more work to do to develop a weapon. We can afford to wait, so what’s the rush?

Disinformation. The “wipe them off the map” quote was an intentional mistranslation, but that is what everyone repeats most often. So whose word are you taking them at?

Everybody seems to be off target a bit. Let Europe defend itself. The should pay us for deploying our ships, not us provide them free cover as part of some “NATO contribution” BS. If they can squander money to bail out Greece, Italy and Spain, let them pay us first. Our Navy is deploying the ships because if they don’t make a case that they’re desperately needed, they just might get cut out of the budget. The entire military if oversized and needs to be downsized. But a land-deployed capability is best if you do it at all.

I am not referring to the semantics silliness regarding Ahmadinejad’s exact wording. I think Khameni calling Israel a cancerous tumor that needs to be cut out, willingness to support any nation/group against Israel, arming and supporting Hamas/Hezbollah whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel is more than enough words to take them at to prove hostile intent.

Okay, I’m not asking you to agree with Iran, I don’t. Given their history, can you understand how they’d be hostile?

And if you’re going to accept those quotes, why not the other more moderate language they’ve also used?

I’m not asking you to agree with Iran, I don’t. Given their history, can you understand why they’d be hostile?

And if you accept those harsher quotes, why not the more moderate language they’ve also used?

So we’re justified in whatever we want to do to them?

Templar is just relieving out his Holocaust guilt.

When you ask American kids today who have visited the Holocaust museum on the mall why we must support Israel they will tell it’s because what we did to them in the Holocaust.

It is a Zionist propaganda coup and It has got to be one of the greatest propaganda victories of all time.

But we are the only ones who want the ships there.

Is this the part where you tell us the Holocaust never happened, evil zionists conspiracy, blah blah blah?

Why do you keep sprinting port and starboard? You’re going to capsize your boat. Where did l say we are justified in doing whatever we want? The only points I’ve made is there is ample evidence of work on a nuclear weapon program. They have either tried or succeeded in following through on every piece of rhetoric they’ve ever used. Their supreme leader referred to a nation as a tumor that should be cut out, which is pretty clear and doesn’t require the translation semantics games that followed Ahmadinejad’s statement a couple years ago.

I’m just countering your points. There is both ample evidence of a nuclear weapons program and ample rhetoric on the part of Iran’s leadership they support the destruction of Israel.

Not interested. Bye.

Some old messages might show up, but I think we’ve both said our peace. Thanks and take care.

The site keeps deleting messages, so I can’t expound much. My point is, we can wait.

itfunk DO you recall the USS Liberty incident in 1967?


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