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USS Mesa Verde joins naval strike group in Persian Gulf as Obama weighs military option in Iraq

The USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious transport dock ship, is now pre-positioned in the Persian Gulf "to provide a deterrent for activity, as well as the ability to quickly respond to any situation with flexibility, should we be needed," the ship's commander, Captain Kenneth Reynard, said Tuesday.
By JC Finley   |   June 17, 2014 at 1:14 PM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, June 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has deployed an additional warship to the Persian Gulf in response to the lightning offensive launched by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq.

The USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious transport dock ship, joins USS George H.W. Bush, USS Philippine Sea, USS Truxtun, USS Arleigh Burke and USS Okane in the Persian Gulf.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby announced Mesa Verde's repositioning on Monday.

"Its presence in the Gulf adds to that of other U.S. naval ships already there -- including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush -- and provides the commander in chief additional options to protect American citizens and interests in Iraq, should he choose to use them."

The USS Mesa Verde is "capable of conducting a variety of quick-reaction and crisis response operations," Kirby noted. The amphibious transport dock ship is transporting an unspecified number of MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

Captain Kenneth Reynard, Mesa Verde's commanding officer, explained via Facebook that, "The ship's unique assets and capabilities combine with the other naval forces in the region to provide a deterrent for activity, as well as the ability to quickly respond to any situation with flexibility, should we be needed."

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