U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday said the Pentagon had sent several Navy ships to the Mediterranean, providing emergency evacuation and relief capability in light of unrest in Libya.
“I have directed several Navy ships to the Mediterranean,” Gates said in response to a question during a Pentagon briefing. “The USS Kearsarge and the [USS] Ponce will be entering the Mediterranean shortly and will provide us a capability for both emergency evacuations and also for humanitarian relief.”
Both ships Gates mentioned are amphibious assault ships.
The two ships are entering the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. Before them, USS Barry, a destroyer, has been deployed to the Mediterranean.
“We’re obviously looking at a lot of options and contingencies. No decisions have been made on any other actions,” said Gates. – pna