The USS Mesa Verde in the Persian Gulf is the latest warship to make an arrival in Middle East territory this week. The U.S. Pentagon has confirmed that the vessel arrived off the gulf coast to provide support to Americans in their military efforts and assist soldiers as directed. Fox News also shares this Monday, June 16, 2014, that the Mesa Verde has joined a number of other crafts in the area, including the destroyer USS Truxtun, the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, and the USS Philippine Sea.
According to the press release, sending the amphibious transport dock ship into foreign territory provides U.S. President Barack Obama with new alternatives to consider regarding both citizen and soldier safety in Iraq. Having the USS Mesa Verde warship in the Persian Gulf also more prominently reinforces the American presence and overall military support capabilities our nation possesses.
“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde into the Arabian Gulf today. The ship has completed its transit through the Strait of Hormuz,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said today. “Its presence in the Gulf adds to that of other U.S. naval ships already there — including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush — and provides the commander-in-chief additional options to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq, should he choose to use them.”
As previously reported on the Examiner, naval warships have been moving into Iraq territory in recent months in an effort to combat the rise of Islamic insurgents. It is hoped that the Mesa Verde, which currently holds over 500 Marines, would be able to assist in the evacuation of any Americans as well. Although no mass evacuations are scheduled at this time, the amphibious warship is more than proficient of serving in “crisis response operations.”
“USS Mesa Verde is capable of conducting a variety of quick reaction and crisis response operations. The ship carries a complement of MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft,” Kirby added. “USS Mesa Verde is part of the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, which departed Norfolk, Virginia, in February and is operating in the region on a routine deployment to support maritime security operations.”
As cited in an inside report from PJ Media, already a number of Marines previously aboard the USS Mesa Verde have passed the Persian Gulf and entered Iraq territory. These elite forces are currently stationed in Baghdad (arriving at the Green Zone) and are putting their lives and service on the line to protect American diplomats and others at the U.S. Embassy. Continues Kirby’s announcement over the weekend:
“At the request of the State Department, the U.S. military is providing security assistance for our diplomatic facilities in Baghdad. A small number of DOD personnel are augmenting State Department security assets in Baghdad to help ensure the safety of our facilities,” the military spokesman went on. “The temporary relocation of some embassy personnel is being facilitated aboard commercial, charter and State Department aircraft as appropriate,” he added. “The U.S. military has airlift assets at the ready should State Department request them, as per normal inter-agency support arrangements.”
At this time, it seems that the U.S. Embassy and the State Department are working together to support Iraq in developing its legal processes and constitutional work. These U.S. soldiers are also stationed to help defend our forces from any potential threats, including terrorists or Islamic extremists. The looming presence of the USS Mesa Verde, as well as other warships and naval destroyers, only strengthen that unspoken message.
“The embassy remains open and will continue to engage daily with Iraqis and their elected leaders – supporting them as they strengthen Iraq’s constitutional processes and defend themselves from imminent threats.”
Another American official continued this week:
As a result of ongoing instability and violence in certain areas of Iraq, Embassy Baghdad is reviewing its staffing requirements in consultation with the State Department,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced. “Some additional U.S. government security personnel will be added to the staff in Baghdad; other staff will be temporarily relocated – both to our Consulate Generals in Basra and Erbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman … A substantial majority of the U.S. Embassy presence in Iraq will remain in place and the Embassy will be fully equipped to carry out its national security mission.”