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Coalition Launches 'Operation Odyssey Dawn'

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2011 – Coalition forces launched “Operation Odyssey Dawn” today to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people from the country’s ruler.

The goal of the military coalition is to prevent further attacks by regime forces on Libyan citizens, officials said, adding that the coalition also wants to degrade the ability of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime to resist a no-fly zone being implemented.

U.S. military forces are on the leading edge of the coalition operation, taking out Libya’s integrated air and missile defense system, Defense Department officials said. The ordnance is aimed at radars and anti-aircraft sites around the capital of Tripoli and other facilities along the Mediterranean coast.

Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear aboard the command ship USS Mount Whitney. The Mount Whitney joins 24 other ships from Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom and France in launching the operation.

Cruise missiles from U.S. submarines and frigates began the attack on the anti-aircraft system. A senior defense official speaking on background said the attacks will “open up the environment so we could enforce the no-fly zone from east to west throughout Libya.”

In addition to the cruise missiles, the United States will provide command and control and logistics. American airmen and sailors also will launch electronic attacks against the systems.

The United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada already have announced that they are part of the coalition. Officials expect Arab countries will publicly announce their participation soon.


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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

4/11/2011 3:19:11 PM
Gadhafi, You think OUR actions are "unjustified," and "clear agression?" Do you remember what YOU did in 1988 , Gadhafi?? YOU ordered al-Megrahi to MURDER innocent people on Pan Am flight 103??? That was to be MY ride home from London; my friends were killed because YOU don't understand justice!!
- Kathy Rice, Oswego,NY

4/4/2011 2:16:52 PM
It is about time that we as a unified world combat this dictator. We should do as much as we can to arm the resistance and help them coordinate their offensive against Col. Gadhafi. Hail to the Allied Powers!
- David Laurence, Nevada

3/21/2011 2:02:53 PM
I would like to commend our armed forces and thier related technologies on thier ability to clear targets with such extreem accuracy. You are the best at getting the job done! I only hope that your active participation is over soon and this ends in a satisfactory way. Thank you for all you do around the world.
- Leonard Soares, California

3/19/2011 11:06:16 PM
i feel like we should try and be a role model towards libya. were just doing the same thing as them just calling it something else. we need to grow up as a country. the government is just using temporary solutions to problems that will never be resolved unless we work together. idk its just sad on both parts. the world is what we create it to be and you guys made it this....smh
- shane, earth

3/19/2011 10:01:45 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, Did anyone check that the U.S. Congress had authorized this strike? Last I checked, the United Nations doesn't have power under the Constitution to authorized Acts of War against a sovereign state. U.S. territory and personnel were not in immediate risk. Article 1, Section 8 give Congress alone the authority to declare war on behalf of the U.S.A.
- Aaron DeCarlo, Baltimore MD

3/19/2011 8:45:53 PM
How far can we stretch before we break.
- Linda, USA

3/19/2011 7:52:31 PM
God bless the Coalition forces that are protecting the lives of the citizens of Libya. Good luck, and god speed, gentlemen and women. It is heartening to see the United Nations taking action.
- Richard McGilvray, Buffalo, NY

3/19/2011 7:24:53 PM
I am a military widow and I hate to see that we are involved in air strikes against this Libyan madman. But he should have been taken out 25 years ago when our A-7 Corsairs tried to stop him.. How much "collateral damage" has this lunatic (Qaddafi) done? How many innocents have died under his rule. Good luck to our coalition...Let's all hope it is similar to the 1967 "six-day war." How many people have died in my lifetime because of maniacal dictators. We have your back President Obama. Stop this man!
- HELENA o ke kai, Honolulu, HI

3/19/2011 6:55:34 PM
GO!!!!Peace for Libya without Moammar Gadhafi’s !
- edjane marques pimentel da silva, usa/brazil

3/19/2011 4:57:10 PM
Blood for Oil: How come President Obama said that the USA will not lead the aggression in Libya and then the Pentagon is saying something different?? "U.S. military forces are on the leading edge of the coalition operation, taking out Libya’s integrated air and missile defense system" LR
- Lucho Reyes, Canada

3/19/2011 4:49:48 PM
About time! God bless all the military involved.
- jason, illinois

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