Mabus: Airstrikes Illustrate
Unique Navy Capabilities
By Jim Garamone, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – September 30, 2014 – Recent military airstrikes against terrorists
from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant demonstrate the unique
capabilities of the U.S. Navy, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at the Defense
Writers’ Group breakfast today.
F/A-18F Super Hornet preparing to launch from the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf
The Navy and Marine Corps provide U.S. presence around the
world, Mabus said. The USS George H.W. Bush carrier group was ready in the area,
he added, when President Barack Obama gave the orders for strikes against ISIL
targets in Iraq and Syria.
“We could move almost instantly when the president gave the
order” to launch strikes, Mabus said.
And that capability can stay in the region as long as needed,
he said. The USS Carl S. Vinson carrier group is steaming to relieve the Bush in
U.S. Central Command’s area of operations shortly, he said.
“That’s what forward presence gives,” the secretary said. “We
don’t take up anybody’s land, we can come from the sea and we can stay for a
very, very long time,” he said.
The Navy continues to fly strikes and some intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance missions off the Bush, the secretary said. The
Navy and Marine Corps team has flown roughly 25 percent of the missions over the
region, with the Air Force taking the rest.
“Most of the [Navy and Marine Corps missions] were at the
beginning because we were there, but as the campaign has gone on, I think the
Air Force announced yesterday they have done about 75 percent,” Mabus said.
The Navy has spent roughly $100 million on operations against
ISIL to date, the secretary said.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews)
Special Report: Targeted Operations Against ISIL Terrorists
Special Report: U.S. Central Command