Pentagon wants commando “mothership” in Middle East
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
The Pentagon is now pushing to send a massive floating base which will serve as a staging point for commando squads in the Middle East, a move which I think can be easily traced back to the constantly rising tensions with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz and their alleged nuclear weapons program.
Of course, they only say that this is part of the reason, just like they claim that the massively increased American presence in the region is nothing to be concerned about while obviously it is.
The other threats they claim justify this move are al Qaeda in Yemen, Somali pirates, and more.
This move is supposedly being made at the behest of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) which is at the helm of all of the military operations going on throughout the Middle East.
The Navy will be converting an old warship which was going to be decommissioned into a floating staging base for commando operations.
This makes me wonder, why the emphasis on the fact that it is an aging vessel that was going to be decommissioned? Could this perhaps be a set up for a false flag to be blamed on Iran? The possibility is there and should be considered.
The makeshift base has been unofficially dubbed a “mothership” and is capable of launching smaller high-speed boats and the types of helicopters which are typically utilized by the Navy SEALs according to procurement documents brought to my attention by The Washington Post.
This new move is being chalked up to the shift in military focus under the Obama administration’s “new” strategy – which many have rightly pointed out is not actually that new and in fact contains some major contradictions – to a heavier reliance on Special Forces operations in order to make the American military “leaner and more agile” in the face of at least $487 billion in spending cuts at the Pentagon over the next ten years.
I think that this latest deployment should be emphasized because the military refuses to discuss where exactly this new “mothership” will be deployed in the Middle East.
For an analyst like myself, this hints that it very well might be deployed in the Persian Gulf region in order to put even more pressure on Iran and likely try to push Iran into striking first, giving the West a green light to absolutely destroy the entire country.
Lieutenant Commander Mike Kafka, a spokesman for the US Navy’s Fleet Forces Command, would not say what exactly the purpose of the new floating base was, or where it will be deployed.
Other officials from the Navy said that the military was trying to convert the vessel at an unusually rapid pace, something which lends to the speculation that it could be intended for deployment in the region surrounding Iran before any conflict begins in full.
These unnamed officials have said that the “mothership” will be moved into the region by early summer, representing a time frame which is indeed uncharacteristically small for the military.
My analysis which hints that this is bound for the Persian Gulf to confront Iran is backed up by a Navy document which indicates that it could indeed be headed to the Persian Gulf.
This hint comes from a market survey proposal from the Military Sealift Command dating back to December 22.
Regardless of what The Washington Post or the Navy says, I think anyone who has been keeping up with my “Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio” series (the latest installment of which can be found here) will find that this floating base is indeed likely headed for the region. I believe that my readers could easily tell where this will be deployed without any confirmation from the Navy or the establishment media since the writing is so clearly on the wall.
However, the market survey for the Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) seems to quite clearly that this is intended to be deployed the region of the Persian Gulf. For the interested readers, you can explore this market survey yourself here.
Another clear indication that this is bound for the Gulf and intended to combat a potential closure of the Strait of Hormuz can be seen in other contract documents cited by The Washington Post which supposedly say that the vessel will be used to “support mine countermeasure” operations.
This is pertinent because if Iran was to close the Strait of Hormuz, Defense officials and analysts have said that they would largely rely on mines to obstruct the relatively narrow passage.
Of course, there is the matter of the shore-to-sea missiles which were tested during a previous military exercise (which I detailed in a previous installment of my “Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio” series) and other measures but it is relatively well known that mines would play a large part in such an operation.
There is also the matter of submarines which an Iranian military official recently emphasized and claimed that the United States has gravely underestimated.
The deception of The Washington Post becomes quite clear when they say, “Adding the mothership would do relatively little to bolster U.S. maritime power overall,” which is a blatantly false assertion.
They also cite the 5th Fleet’s base in Bahrain and the “one or two aircraft carrier groups usually assigned to the region,” while making a point not to take notice of the fact that indeed a third strike group is headed to the area and considered in concert with all of the other buildups in the region which I have been covering my series clearly indicates an effort to bolster the American presence surrounding Iran.
The ship to be retrofitted is the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport docking ship, which was revealed by a January 24 solicitation.
Proposals are due by February 3 and the solicitation is a rush order, making me concerned that there are plans for an operation in the very near future, perhaps as early as this summer as indicated previously in this article.
This is congruent with the statements from Israeli analysts who claim that an attack on Iran will happen in 2012, as I outlined in “Iran: a quickly evolving geopolitical imbroglio – part VIII“.
It is worth noting that up until December, the Navy was planning to decommission the USS Ponce this coming March after a whopping 41 years of service for the Navy.
Once retrofitted, the Ponce will be able to incorporate the Mark 5 Zodiac inflatable boat, capable of carrying up to 15 passengers and Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats which can carry an entire squad of Navy SEALs and are seven meters in length.
The mothership is designed to remain in a single location for weeks, or perhaps even months, whereas most Naval vessels are continually patrolling or otherwise on the move. This will supposedly allow for commandos to better prepare for amphibious operations and act as a floating base or staging area for these soldiers.
A floating base has been a goal of the United States Special Operation Command (SOCOM) for years now, claiming that it would expand the effective range of commando squads who operate using small boats, especially in remote coastal areas.
The conversion of the USS Ponce will be used until the Navy is able to build a brand new Afloat Forward Staging Base and in a Pentagon budget priority document recently released it was indicated that they would fund the new project beginning in 2013.
I find it worth noting that The Washington Post highlighted that “U.S. military officials declined to say what prompted them to give the Ponce a sudden new lease on life. But contract and bidding documents underscore the urgency of the project,” which again makes me think that there might be a secondary agenda at work here.
While this is obviously pure speculation at this point, I think it is important to stress the fact that this aging vessel is being brought into the fray at a time when the West is looking for Iran to make a move in order to justify a strike.
This is emphasized by the fact that one no-bid contract for engineering work on the project said that the military was waiving the normal procurement procedures because any delay in the project supposedly presented a “national security risk.”
In the case of the contracts that are not no-bid, the Navy says all bids are due by February 3 and work is to begin just 10 days later.
One must wonder why a delay on this conversion could at all pose a national security risk and why this is being rushed in the manner that it is, contrary to typical military procedure.
There are many possibilities here but the likelihood of it being deployed to the Persian Gulf seems nearly cemented at this stage.
If you have any more information on this or would like to share your thoughts on this development please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]