debkafile Exclusive: Three US Norfolk-based amphibious assault ships set out for Persian Gulf Saturday
They are part of the USS Bataan Strike group carrying 2,000 Marines and equipped to insert forces ashore by helicopter, landing craft and amphibious vehicles. The Baatan is equipped with helicopters and fast hovercraft capable of landing thousands of Marines on beaches and providing the landing with cover. The Shreveport, known as the Super Gator, combines the logistical-intelligence support of a command ship with the assault capabilities of combat loaded marines. It is designed for extended amphibious operations. The USS Oak Hill is designed to assist distressed vessels.
debkafile‘s military sources add that another three warships are due to sail out of Norfolk for the Gulf this week with marine personnel aboard. This will bring to more than 20,000 the complement of sailors, marines and pilots either heading for the Gulf region like the USS John C. Stennis strike group, or already present like the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Boxer.
The deployment of the USS John C. Stennis strike group, announced last week, was billed as “a warning to Syria and Iran.”