U.S. sets up air, land, sea forces to aid in Lebanon
August 29, 2006
Joint Task Force Lebanon leaders set up sub-task forces that will be ready to help in humanitarian relief if the call comes, according to a Navy news release.
Vice Adm. John Stufflebeem, commander of JTF Lebanon and of the U.S. 6th Fleet based out of Gaeta, Italy, appointed Air Force Col. Brad Webb to command Task Force Alpha, the air and land components, while Navy Capt. John Nowell was tapped to lead Bravo, the maritime side of things.
“These task force commanders have responsibility for the air, land and sea support to the American Embassy in Beirut, and will execute the daily operations necessary to carry out our mission to assist Department of State-led efforts in the region,” Stufflebeem stated in a release.
U.S. European Command assumed control of missions and requirements from Central Command on Aug. 23.
Webb, as commander of the 352nd Special Operations Group out of RAF Mildenhall, England, has been in the region since July 19.
In all, Webb has about 450 people working the air and land side of missions, including a group of MH-53M Pave Low heavy-lift helicopters to be used as an “air bridge” for taking people in and out of the American Embassy in Beirut; a U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team from Naval Station Rota, Spain, brought in to provide added security to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut; Army CH-47 helicopters based out of Ingolstadt, Germany, and MC-130P Combat Shadow refuelers, the release states.
Nowell’s maritime force consists of nearly 1,800 sailors, Marines, Air Force medical personnel and civilian mariners aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry, amphibious transport dock USS Trenton, High Speed Vessel Swift and the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha.
The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp left its homeport in Virginia on Friday on its way to the eastern Mediterranean.