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Map shows U.S. Navy ships in region surrounding Libya during Benghazi attack

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An unclassified map released by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch shows that dozens of U.S. Navy vessels, including two aircraft carriers and 13 destroyers, were stationed in the region surrounding Libya on the night of the Benghazi terror attack, The Blaze reported Wednesday.

The map was supplied by Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Randall R. Schmidt, who has been investigating the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans for more than a year.

Schmidt has said repeatedly there is no reason why military forces could not have responded to the attack.

"Destroyers could have responded to the attack," he said.

Schmidt, Judicial Watch said, got the map after filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Navy asking it to identify the location of all its assets in the region on September 11, 2012.

The Navy said in a letter attached to the map that the USS Iwo Jima was the closest large amphibious ship to Benghazi, but did not disclose the exact distance. The USS Enterprise, the aircraft carrier that appears closest to Libya at the time, was approximately 3,350 nautical miles from Benghazi.

“Assuming a 20 knot transit speed and no Suez Canal delays, the transit would take approximately 168 hours or seven days,” the Navy said.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower “would require additional transit time from its position in the Arabian Gulf,” the Navy added.

Schmidt also maintains the military had resources capable of responding, including rapid reaction forces and armed predators.

The Department of Defense has so far refused his request for records involving the air fleet on that day.

“The point is there were enough forces to respond,” he said.



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