Monday, April 24, 2006

From the Sea

Strategypage notes an interesting deployment:

The U.S. Navy recently sent the Trenton Expeditionary Strike Group (amphibious carrier USS Trenton and her escorts) off to the Indian Ocean, without the normal complement of marines. Since these ships are believed to be supporting counter-terror operations, sending a ship like the LPD Trenton to sea without its normal complement of marines indicates that the ship may be used as a floating base for UAVs and SOF (special operations forces). A similar task was assigned a navy carrier in 2002, to support SOF operations in Afghanistan. The Trenton, and her two escorts (a destroyer and a cruiser, and possibly a nuclear sub as well), could support SOF operations ashore in Somalia, or Iran.

This information leads me to reconsider my thoughts on the deployment of a French carrier to the Indian Ocean where it is supposed to deliver aircraft to Afghanistan. I wondered if the French were covering the movement of their carrier to take part in strikes on Iran this May. I wondered if the French would get other planes to the De Gaulle after flying off to Afghanistan or whether the strikes would happen before the scheduled ferry mission.

But considering what we are doing with the Trenton expeditionary strike group, are French special forces getting ready to join us for a mission to Iran? With or without French naval aircraft based on land?

I keep expecting military action and it hasn't happened for over a year. So I don't know whether this is another planned feint to lull the Iranians, just me connecting dots that don't have connections, or clues that action is imminent.

It is interesting.