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This New Commando 'Mothership' Is Being Rushed To The Middle East
TBI ^ | 1-28-2012 | Robert Johnson

Posted on 01/28/2012 3:49:44 PM PST by blam

This New Commando 'Mothership' Is Being Rushed To The Middle East

Robert Johnson
January 28, 2012

The Pentagon is wasting no time in modifying its forces to meet the needs of a more specialized and commando-based military.

The Washington Post reports the Pentagon is fast-tracking the conversion of the 1960s warship USS Ponce to use as a "commando mothership" base for special forces teams in the Middle East.

The re-christened Ponce will hold small Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (Zodiac style boats), and helicopters routinely employed by the SEAL teams that are now becoming famous for their successful clandestine operations.

The news broke through Pentagon procurement documents, and though the Navy has refused to announce where the Ponce will be stationed, military paperwork suggest it will sail the Persian Gulf.

The fact that further documentation says the ship will "support mine countermeasure missions" fuels speculation that the Ponce will be used in the Strait of Hormuz should Iran follow through on its threats to try and shutter the waterway.

The commissioning of this new Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) could signal a return for the SEALs to maritime-focused missions after spending the last decade immersing themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Ponce will serve along with another AFSB previously stationed in the Gulf, the USS Cleveland.

While the Pentagon is wasting no time in getting the SEALs, and the Ponce, to wherever they're going, Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby told FOX News that he denied the Post's claim that they were "moving with unusual haste" in refitting the Ponce.

"While this work is being done in an expeditious fashion," Kirby said, it is not accurate to surmise that this signals a rush to meet some urgent combat requirement."

The Navy SEALs were used this week to recover two

(snip)

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: commando; hormuz; iran; navy
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1 posted on 01/28/2012 3:49:50 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Too few details about the topic of the article: The Ship.


2 posted on 01/28/2012 3:52:24 PM PST by Rudder (The Main Stream Media is Our Enemy---get used to it.)
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To: blam
USS Cleveland


3 posted on 01/28/2012 3:54:54 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Man, I’d love to get behind the wheel of that thing.


4 posted on 01/28/2012 3:55:22 PM PST by Thane_Banquo
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To: blam

No doubt a very detailed report has been drafted and sent by Certified Mail to the enemy, just in case they missed the news stories.


5 posted on 01/28/2012 3:55:30 PM PST by Batrachian
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To: Batrachian
Along with the special defense measures if added.
6 posted on 01/28/2012 3:59:33 PM PST by boomop1 (term limits is the only way to save this country.)
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To: boomop1

“””””While this work is being done in an expeditious fashion,” Kirby said, it is not accurate to surmise that this signals a rush to meet some urgent combat requirement.”””

I wouldn’t put it past O’Dumber to start a war to get reelected. Hope he does not.


7 posted on 01/28/2012 4:08:33 PM PST by jimpick
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To: Alas Babylon!; American_Centurion; An.American.Expatriate; ASA.Ranger; ASA Vet; Ax; Azeem; ...

MI/SOCOM Ping

Thanks Bill!


8 posted on 01/28/2012 4:12:29 PM PST by ASA Vet (Natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. De Vattel)
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To: blam

Guess leaving at any point in our lifetimes is out of the question.


9 posted on 01/28/2012 4:13:46 PM PST by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cripplecreek
"Guess leaving at any point in our lifetimes is out of the question."

LOL. I don't have that much 'lifetime' left anyway.

10 posted on 01/28/2012 4:18:02 PM PST by blam
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Politics and war are remarkably similar situations.


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Support The Resistance

11 posted on 01/28/2012 4:22:42 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: blam

Seems like it would be a lot cheaper to surround Israel with a defensive ring of steel and let the rest of the world fight it out in the mideast.


12 posted on 01/28/2012 4:24:21 PM PST by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Rudder
Ponce, like Cleveland, is an Amphibious Transport Dock. The business end is the stern, which has a massive hatch that is usually closed.

The hatch can be opened to reveal a dock for operations.

Ordinarily AAV's launch from the dock, but it sounds like Ponce is being equipped with zodiacs (and probably some stuff they aren't telling us about).

Flight deck operations take place on the rear deck.

The article is incorrect. Ponce was commissioned in 1971, the last vessel of her class.

13 posted on 01/28/2012 4:28:59 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: blam
Any of the LHD or LHA Assault ships can do this job, and with additional assault capability.

Normally each of these 10 or so ships will carry a SEAL unit AND an entire Marine Battalion Landing team.

Don't underestimate those guys. Everyone one of them is a rifleman first, and everyone of them will kill or die. They prefer killing.

The ship and it's battle group is capable of sustaining 1,800 fighting men...30 helicopters...a few dozens fighting vehicles...artillery etc. ashore for 30 days without reinforcement. With a Carrier Battle Group nearby it's a formidable assault force especially if you consider we can put 3 of them pretty much anywhere.

14 posted on 01/28/2012 4:30:10 PM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: blam

Hell, as old as that beeyotch is it would take her 6 months just to reach the operating area....I served on the USS LASALLE.


15 posted on 01/28/2012 4:31:30 PM PST by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: wxgesr

The bottom holds of those ships are full of supplies. Bullets, bandages, food, and water. Fuel is kept in reserve as well.


16 posted on 01/28/2012 4:35:56 PM PST by jimpick
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To: colorado tanker

Many thanks for the information about USS Ponce.


17 posted on 01/28/2012 4:38:43 PM PST by Rudder (The Main Stream Media is Our Enemy---get used to it.)
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To: jimpick

Mostly fuel, they are old and inefficient steam plants. Ride like a bathtub in heavy seas......flatbottomedslowrustbucketbitches

Take one of teh recently decommed LHAs and convert it, more room, more capacity. the USS LASALLE had to weld office space into the well deck to accommodate the SIXTHFLT staff.


18 posted on 01/28/2012 4:42:50 PM PST by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: Rudder

Your welcome.


19 posted on 01/28/2012 4:43:59 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: jimpick

Just in case some people try to block the straight of Hormuz—best to be ready.

Support the Resistance! “V” for Victory over the Reptile RINOS.


20 posted on 01/28/2012 4:46:33 PM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: blam
Our enemies can disband their intelligence services. We openly provide them with every detail they would seek. I am sure they have the names, addresses, names of family, complete bios on every member of the seals. Thank you Mr. Obama!!!
21 posted on 01/28/2012 4:46:33 PM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: wxgesr

I never went out on one of the flat bottoms. Lucky enough that I could do my job well and always rode on a LKA. Big round bottom piece of crap, but it could ride out a typhoon better. I remember looking over at a LST in a typhoon and thinking thank god I am not on that. You could see about 75% of the bottom when it crested a wave. The splash was incredible. I could only see the antenna tops and about the last 10 feet. The Marines I talked to that where on that ship said they were strapped to their racks for 3 days. Flat bottoms stink.


22 posted on 01/28/2012 4:51:34 PM PST by jimpick
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To: jimpick

Trudat....LHA-3 USS BELLEAU WOOD 1981...we were in a bad one off the west coast of Australia, the Marines were laying on the main deck, rolling in their puke, no chow was served for 2 days, PB&J for all....what a nightmare.


23 posted on 01/28/2012 4:54:55 PM PST by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: Mariner; blam

Shoot, I rode with UDT, SEALs and Marines aboard plenty of LSTs, LPDs, LSDs, LPHs etc. This is about as “new” as corn flakes or sliced bread.


24 posted on 01/28/2012 4:55:32 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: blam

BUMP for later read


25 posted on 01/28/2012 4:56:07 PM PST by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: blam

Funny name.


26 posted on 01/28/2012 4:56:45 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (Whatever happened to that Amy Summerland sailing chick?)
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To: jimpick

The sanctions have put our foot on the crazy mullah’s economic lifeline. Our military is about one inch from their beards. Ought to expect some shooting soon. Just hope that China has not armed them with some new missile systems that would put our sailors at real risk.


27 posted on 01/28/2012 4:57:56 PM PST by allendale
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To: wxgesr

That’s a fact. I rode upon the Fort Snelling, Pensacola, Guam, Iwo Jima, and too many other gator freightors to recall offhand. The old LSDs made 12 knots with a tail wind and current.


28 posted on 01/28/2012 4:57:57 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Mariner
Any of the LHD or LHA Assault ships can do this job, and with additional assault capability.

That's what I don't get. Only one of the Tarawas is left in service (Peleliu) and while one has been sink-exed (Belleau Wood) Nassau was just put into reserve a year ago and Tarawa and Saipan can be parted out.

Bringing Nassau back into service and using Tarawa and Saipan for spares to support her would seem the logical choice. She'd not only have pretty much the same capabilities as Ponce, she'd also have better command/control facilities AND the ability to operate more helos ... PLUS Harriers (if needed).
29 posted on 01/28/2012 4:59:34 PM PST by tanknetter
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To: wxgesr

I had not taken sea sickness medicine for the first 3 days of the typhoon and finally went to the battalion aid station for some. They asked me if I had run out early, they were shocked when I told them I had not gotten any yet. Then they told me they had run out already. That is why I was on the deck looking at the LST. Supposedly it helps with sea sickness. All it did for me was make me glad I was on a LKA.
It was the USS Durham.


30 posted on 01/28/2012 5:02:59 PM PST by jimpick
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To: jimpick
I remember looking over at a LST in a typhoon and thinking thank god I am not on that. You could see about 75% of the bottom when it crested a wave. The splash was incredible.

You can say that again. The little "Counties" were posted on the flanks of our ARGs, and in rough weather, it was amazing to watch them, as they tried to keep up.

Ironically, those little County-class LSTs were diesels, and they had super "long legs" ie fuel range. As a result, and due to their empty vehicle holds when not carrying the Marines, they were used for long-endurance intel missions. They could spend months at sea in places like the Bering Sea in winter, loaded with commo and intell containers and spooks. Imagine what a ride that must have been....for months.

31 posted on 01/28/2012 5:04:17 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: tanknetter

You know you are old when you can remember when ships were brand new and just fresh in commission, and then you read they have been decommed, sink-exed or sold.


32 posted on 01/28/2012 5:06:47 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

That would stink because with the intel gear you would be limited as to where you could go while on ship.


33 posted on 01/28/2012 5:07:16 PM PST by jimpick
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To: jimpick

For whatever reason, I did not get sick...I am prone to but not that ship. I got sick as a dog on the USS BELKNAP CG-26 in the MED. Short choppy seas with a top heavy mast that had been added on for C6F antennas and offices.


34 posted on 01/28/2012 5:09:51 PM PST by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: jimpick

Those were no liberty port cruises, from what I gleaned. They were full of spooks in intel collection mode, very hush-hush. The crew would not discuss their other missions, not to us frogmen or other embarked troops. My understanding is they would typically spend on the order of 3 months driving “gator squares” in the same patch of ocean, fair or stormy, summer or winter. They were an optimum “modular platform” to pull the duty, as long as you totally disregarded the human factor in terms of sea-keeping and a horrible motion.


35 posted on 01/28/2012 5:12:01 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Thane_Banquo
Man, I’d love to get behind the wheel of that thing.

If you read deeper in the article you would have read that there is not "wheel" but a 24 year old kid in Norfolk Virginia that drives it with his IPad.

36 posted on 01/28/2012 5:12:30 PM PST by Sawdring
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To: wxgesr

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBGAsi0Nnfk&feature=share

cat shot and trap....the real deal.


37 posted on 01/28/2012 5:15:55 PM PST by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: Travis McGee

“the human factor in terms of sea-keeping and a horrible motion.”

and don’t forget the wonderful chow...


38 posted on 01/28/2012 5:18:22 PM PST by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: Travis McGee
One of the first ships my father took me aboard to ckeck out was an LST in Norfolk.

I just asked my dad what was the first name of the admiral named 'Kauffman' he worked for. Draper L. Kauffman

39 posted on 01/28/2012 5:18:52 PM PST by Daaave ('Make My Home Everywhere within the Four Seas')
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To: ASA Vet
I'm sure this floating JSOTF has adequate force protection capabilities so it doesn't become another Beirut or USS Cole.
40 posted on 01/28/2012 5:26:13 PM PST by mosaicwolf (Strength and Honor)
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To: blam

Seems to be a lot of sabre rattling going on. Gotta wonder how it must feel to be a piece of good steel in the hand of a coward.


41 posted on 01/28/2012 5:33:42 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Mariner

“Normally each of these 10 or so ships will carry a SEAL unit AND an entire Marine Battalion Landing team.”

USS Ponce - Troop Accommodations 72 Officers, 851 Enlisted

A Marine Battalion Landing Team has about 1100 men in the Infantry Battalion alone, not counting the Composite Helo Squadron, the Logistics unit, any attached Artillery, Armor or Amtrack units.

IIRC, A complete BLT used 3 or 4 ships to haul everyone & their equipment. Usually an LPH for the Squadron and one or two companies of grunts, an LSD for another company and an LPD for the 4th company of grunts. H&S Company was largely spread among the Rifle companies. Arty, Tanks and the rest were also spread around. They used to have an LPA for just troops - no helo spots or well deck - but these all went away in the early 1980’s.


42 posted on 01/28/2012 5:40:48 PM PST by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: blam

I just don’t trust this administration and the people they are putting in charge of our warriors.

Why not station the Seals and Marines across the fleet instead of focusing them on one ship where we can loose them all at one time?

Sorry, after that chopper was downed with so many of our extremely valuable warriors, I am paranoid.


43 posted on 01/28/2012 5:41:56 PM PST by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: wxgesr

I had an old Captain that used to visit my shop. We talked a lot about the state of our Navy and about the damn Democrats scrapping the Nuclear powered cruisers that were able to keep up with our Nuclear Aircraft carriers without refueling at sea.

He definitely viewed their destruction as political and a horrible mistake.


44 posted on 01/28/2012 5:47:34 PM PST by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: FreeAtlanta

IIRC, The Marines used to keep 2 or 3 BLTs out all the time. Med, WestPac and sometimes Caribbean or Indian Ocean.


45 posted on 01/28/2012 5:49:48 PM PST by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: blam

BTW, there is another thread on this topic (USS Ponce) going here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2839239/posts


46 posted on 01/28/2012 5:52:53 PM PST by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: blam

I’m not too crazy about the idea of putting all our top warriors on one boat in the Middle East.

Makes me think of all those ships and planes lined up in neat rows at Pearl Harbor which were easy to attack.

It is simply too tempting a target or am I missing something about the value of dispersal of assets.


47 posted on 01/28/2012 5:53:30 PM PST by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: BwanaNdege
An LHA or LHD can carry an entire BLT.

We put all of BLT 1/3 on the USS Tarawa for more than one cruise. Plus air support.

Scattered among the other 4 ships in the group was about 400 more assault troops plus a bunch of supplies and administration.

40,000 tons. >900ft long and >200ft wide. Hell the flight desk was over 90ft above the waterline.

1,300 Marines and 900 sailors.

48 posted on 01/28/2012 6:03:12 PM PST by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: colorado tanker

BTTT !

http://www.motionmodels.com/ships/amphib/lpd15.html


49 posted on 01/28/2012 6:20:39 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: wildbill

“I’m not too crazy about the idea of putting all our top warriors on one boat in the Middle East.”

Yeah, I remember the Marine Barracks in Beirut all too well.


50 posted on 01/28/2012 6:30:41 PM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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